Cordoba Health Group in Oakbrook Terrace or Hinsdale is now offering Therapeutic Cupping. Also known as Vacuum Therapy ,Integrative Microcirculation Therapy, and Myofascial Cupping, this innovative technique tackles issues with the tissues that surrounds your muscles and bones. Cupping itself is an ancient form of therapeutic treatment that has been in use since around 5000 B. C., starting in Greece and China. In the past, bamboo cups and fire were used to create a suction effect on tissue to draw out impurities, toxins, and pain. It has now evolved to using hand pumps and acrylic pumps to break up old injuries that scar down in the myofascial tissue layer.
Cupping therapy is known to have many benefits, including:
- Reduction of pain
- Increased flexibility and range of motion
- Decreased scars and adhesions in tissues
- Relief of inflammation
- Stretching of connective tissue & muscles
- Calming the nervous system
- Moving of stagnation and draining of congested fluids
- Bringing fresh blood and lymph to areas that need healing
- Fever reduction and faster recovery from a cold or flu
Cupping therapy is an ideal treatment option for athletes and those living with chronic pain, and is especially great for back, neck, shoulder, elbow, and other musculoskeletal conditions. In fact, the use of suction is commonplace throughout the history of the Olympic Games for maintenance, pre and post event injuries, detoxification, and recovery. Cumulative Cupping treatments increase muscle endurance, circulation, lung capacity, lymphatic drainage, and health maintenance during strenuous activities. Many professional athletes incorporate it into their training to enhance their overall performance, agility, and ability to recover from their sports. Some studies indicate that cupping, when combined with acupuncture, may reduce fibromyalgia symptoms more effectively than conventional medications!
After age forty, 40-60% of microcirculation of the tissues becomes latent or non-functional. Similar issues occur in athletes and weekend warriors of all ages due to over training. In a nutshell, the blood flow decreases and the body circulate less nutrients (amino acids, glucose, electrolytes, water, etc…) and less oxygen. This causes the accumulation of toxins, which can impair or totally arrest the metabolism of cells. Cupping enhances self-healing by improving blood flow and causing the body to regenerate capillaries, reducing inflammation and toxins, and promoting homeostasis.
Cupping helps ease conditions such as :
- Plantar fasciitis
- Tennis or Golfer’s elbow
- Postural and chronic neck pain
- IT Band Syndrome
- Hip bursitis
- Knee Pain
- Shoulder Pain
Myofascial cupping helps break up bindings in the myofascial tissue to help your pain goes away. Traditional Chinese cupping works on the same principles as acupuncture, following the lines of the meridians and is thought to align and relax qi by opening up the channels, thereby also targeting more specific maladies. In the past, the cup suction was always created using fire, which consumed the oxygen in the cup and created a vacuum. Although Fire Cupping is still used today, at Cordoba Health specialized cups are used that do not require fire and use a pump instead. A typical sessions will consist of the use of acrylic cup domes for which massage cream is used to create a seal, and a hand pump is used to pull air out of the cup which creates a suction effect and pulls up the tissue. Through this process, the skin, superficial myofascial layers and superficial muscles layers are pulled into the dome through negative pressure. It is thought to affect tissues up to four inches deep from the external skin! Contracted, congested muscle tissue will often soften quickly with only a few minutes of negative pressure Cupping.
The suction and negative pressure provided by cupping can loosen muscles, encourage blood flow, and sedate the nervous system (which makes it an excellent treatment for high blood pressure too). Not only does the negative pressure feel great, it also helps draw out the inflammation. It is thought that by this process, dead cellular debris, poisons, stagnation and excess fluids are drawn to the surface, which short of cutting the skin and pulling it out, is the best place for the lymphatic system to drain it away. In addition, the pulling action engages the parasympathetic nervous system, thus allowing a deep relaxation to move through the entire body. It is not unusual to fall asleep when receiving this treatment. Clients are surprised at how relaxed, warm and light they feel for hours- sometimes even days- afterwards!
The larger cups will mimic the rolling action of myofascial release without the discomfort. It has been called the ‘deepest deep tissue massage’ and ‘deepest stretch’ that you can experience. The variety of movements, from long and draining to circular and vibrational help to work out areas of stubborn knots and rigid tissue. The skin will redden with strong pressure, indicating that the circulation has been brought to the surface. Application of liniments, analgesics, tinctures, hydrosols and essential oils immediately post treatment will facilitate absorption of the product deeper into the tissue. The increased blood supply to the local muscles and skin will bring nourishment and stimulate the circulatory and lymphatic systems to carry away stagnation and toxins. Taking these benefits into consideration, Cordoba Health also offers a cupping protocol before and after our prolotherapy treatments to enhance the effect of prolotherapy and improve outcomes.
Depending on the condition being treated and a person’s individual and personalized needs, the cups are typically left on for 1-15 minutes. When the cup is moved up and down the tissue, this helps facilitate break up of adhesion in tissue. Each treatment session typically lasts 40-60 minutes. Typically 2-3 treatments are needed, unless one continues to perform the activities that are building up the trauma again, then sessions need to be redone as a tune-up in 3-6 months. The last phase is to have to restore the range of motion that is missing, so for example if one has pain with squatting or bending the knee, therapy will be applied while performing those movements until the adhesions are felt to go away. This is then best combined with home stretching and exercise programs designed specifically for your needs by our practitioners to keep your tissue moving in the way it was released. This ultimately trains tissue to become elastic so that it doesn’t bind up again and cause pain. Cupping is yet one more powerful used at Cordoba Health that complement other therapies to help you become pain-free and improve your function and performance.