What is Myofascial Release?
Myofascial Release concentrates on the fascia of the muscle; this glossy muscle casing is denser and more rigid than muscle tissue, and can often inhibit mobility. Restricted fascia is commonly the result of acute and/or overuse injury.
The treatment of fascia is different from traditional muscle-focused strokes; it is a slow, deep technique and little oil is used. The treatment aims to elongate the fascial sheet with guided motion and deep, targeted pressure.
Fascia is the web like structure made of connective tissues that covers and connects muscles, bones, organs and skeletal structures in the body. It is located between the skin and the underlying structure of muscle and bone. MFR is a hands-on technique that uses sustained pressure on fascial restrictions to eliminate pain and restore motion.
Myofascial release is a form of soft tissue therapy used to treat somatic dysfunction and accompanying pain and restriction of motion. This is accomplished by relaxing contracted muscles, increasing circulation, increasing venous and lymphatic drainage, and stimulating the stretch reflex of muscles and overlying fascia.
What is Cupping?
Like Dry needling, Cupping is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that is utilised by many Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners to alter a patients suffering or as part of an existing treatment for many years. The technique is said to influence the flow of both Qi and Blood throughout the body and or meridians. Cupping was originally called “horn therapy”, but there are also variations adopted in other countries such as Greece, France, Italy, Turkey, Eastern Europe and even as far as South America. Cupping’s long history of use in acupuncture practice has been well noted, however, it can be seen as a therapy in its own right.
Western medicine has also adopted Cupping as a form of treatment for fascial release whereby the suction created during the technique helps to separate the layers of connective tissue throughout the deep and superficial fascia.
To create a vacuum seal on the skin, a flame from a burning cotton ball held with in forceps is placed in and out an upside-down cup (see pics above). When the oxygen in the cup is exhausted, the glass cup is placed directly on to the skin, where it is held in place by a strong suction. Often, the skin inside the cup visibly rises with the suction. There are also cups available that use manual hand pumping instead of the traditional burning type to create the suction. Cupping is generally considered a painless procedure.
More than one cup at a time, in varying sizes, is used to cover an area thoroughly. Cups may be left for several minutes, or removed quickly and placed elsewhere. Cups are sometimes placed over an acupuncture needle that has been inserted. Moving or sliding cupping, which is a variation, may also be performed, first by rubbing the skin with a small amount of oil – which permits the cups to slide with ease.
Static cupping causes blood to be drawn to the surface of the skin, red marks, swelling, and circular bruising can appear .These marks shall subside with in a few hours or days. Interestingly, intensity of markings indicate the level of dysfunction according to Eastern methods and tends to be echoed by Western approaches.