Myofascial Decompression aka Cupping has been a round for a long time, yes pre-Michael Phelps era. With the boom in popularity, I wanted to share my thoughts about this recovery tool and why and how I incorporate it into our sessions. As always, don’t let this be the only form of recovery
Some purposed mechanism ideas of what cupping is actually doing to the tissue, there is obviously some metabolic changes happening through suction force, creation of new blood flow to the area aka angiogenesis, evidence by the bruising circles. The cups are suctioned so that they pull on the skin and the blood, drawing it to the surface especially in areas where it doesn't typically reach all that well. Some people believe it helps to alleviate blockages of debris/adhesions in the body, as well as energy that is congested in the body.
For me, the effects of cupping have to do with the nervous systems, and modifying sensory input and perception of pain and how that translates to them performing better. When someone is experiencing pain, there are some inhibitory responses to performance in the body. If I can reduce the Pain to the area, Maybe I can help someone feel better in their sport. For some clients, they swear by it, they preach better range of motion and less tension.
How long do you leave the cups on for? Personally, I usually cut off around 10 min the reason for that, seems like most people will tend to get bruising- it isn’t necessary to have bruising, doesn’t make treatment more effective. Other things can have a role in how bad someone bruises: stagnation and tissue pathologies.
When should I get this done? for recovering and dampening of the nervous system, I would go post workout. This is def in recovery realm and be in addition to all the other boxes you should be checking: food, sleep, yoga, etc