Relax Your Fascia & Muscles Through Cupping
Have you seen those round spots that look like bruises on people’s backs and shoulders after a massage? Probably right! These round marks are from cupping, which is an ancient Chinese practice.
A cup is applied to the skin and the massage therapist reduces the pressure inside the cup either with heat or with suction (Amy uses suction). This draws the skin, fascia and superficial muscle layer into the cup and it is held on a specific area or it is then glided along the body. This stimulates an area of stagnation and is also a technique to release tension.
The cupping technique has grown in popularity over the years with a big surge in popularity after athlete Michael Phelps showed up at the Olympics with cupping marks all over his back and shoulders. This technique is not just for athletes and Amy uses the Myofascial Cupping technique in her massage practice. It is known to help assist the body in maintaining full range of motion, helps work through those tricky trigger points and reduces restrictive adhesions.
Adhesions and restrictions occur in Fascia – another buzz word you probably have heard floating around in the wellness world! Fascia is a thin casing of connective tissue that surrounds and holds every organ, blood vessel, bone, nerve fiber and muscle in place. The tissue does more than provide internal structure; fascia has nerves that make it almost as sensitive as skin. It’s pretty darn important to keep your fascia happy!
Happy, healthy fascia is smooth, slippery and flexible. Factors that cause fascia to become gummy and crinkle up, which is an adhesion, include:
- A lifestyle of limited movement
- Overly repetitive movement that strains one part of the body
- Surgery or injury
Cupping and massage is one excellent technique that will keep that fascia healthy but other things you can be doing in between your massages are:
- MOVE: Consistent but varied exercise routine. Take at least a two-minute break every hour to stand up and move around, which helps fascia stay supple.
- STRETCH: stretching reduces the risk of inflammation and structural problems in the body and bonus, it feels so good!
- POSTURE: Slumping over a desk or a phone or walking in an awkward way to compensate for an injury can cause fascia to tighten. Remind yourself to roll the shoulders back, tuck the chin slightly in and back and find length in the spine!
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