Cupping and Gua Sha
Gua Sha (scraping) and Cupping…
Physiotherapy is a form of treatment using heat, cold, massage, exercise, electricity to help the body heal and maintain heath. Here we often use massage and exercise as mentioned above. On occasion we will use electrical stimulation, cupping, Gua Sha, heat or cold therapy, herbal therapies and others. Each person is different, each injury or condition is unique we discuss with you the best plan for your health.
Cupping is a simple suction technique to move fluids and energy through the tissues. It has been used by many cultures for thousands of years.
The vacuum action facilitates the release of ridged soft tissues. This can be much faster than massage or other manipulative techniques. It loosens and lifts the connective tissues and breaks up and helps to drain stagnation ( a main factor in illness and dis-ease) it increases blood and lymph flow to skin, muscles and all connective tissues like ligaments and tendons. The cups are generally left on for 5 to 10 minutes is all, and can be added to any other treatment with good result! (Just add $19 to your regular treatment)
Pain in the body implies a blockage in the flow of energy and blood and lymph through a particular area. When there is an injury in a muscle, for example, there is commonly a little bleeding in the muscle tissue. This can cause a deep bruise that you may not see on the surface. This stagnation from the swelling and pain causes the sticky proteins to remain in and between the soft tissues. Stagnation and impaired flow of fluids (blood, serous, synovial, lymph, interstitial etc…) results in even more pain, stiffness and dysfunction. Sometimes, when this is not treated effectively, it can last years, becoming a ‘new normal’ for your body-mind.
It’s not a bruise…
The vacuum formed on the skin by the cups draws out non-circulating stagnant blood and sticky fluids from the painful areas and allows fresh fluids and energy to move in and clean up. Bringing these waste products to the surface can result in deep red, purple or black ‘hickies’ where the cups were. Cupping marks are NOT bruises, they do not hurt. These spots are a great sign and only last a couple days to at most a week. Since the toxins have been vacuumed out of their stuck place they can be carried away by capillaries to the liver and kidneys for proper processing and excretion.
The color of your cupping hickey…
Deeper colors, black, purple, blue are signs of deep and long standing stagnation. Pink, greenish, or yellow are signs it has worked its way out or can be a sign of a bone or nerve problem if it is the initial color.
If a person is very sick, sedentary or has a very old issue, multiple sessions are suggested. After treatment protect the area from drafts and sun, it is open and susceptible to ‘other’ pathogenic factors (especially energy drain)
Dry Cupping, Wet Cupping, Fire Cupping???
We do not use fire as having alcohol and an open flame around a patient and hair is a recipe for disaster. We avoid burns that way… We use a vacuum system popular in today’s modern clinics all over the world. Usually we use 4 to 6 cups only but some treatments may require up to 20 cups… or repeated visits. Wet cupping is where blood is let from the body in the cups. We don’t do that… ewww. We do dry cupping, just you and the cups…
What is it good for?
Cupping is great for the following conditions: anemias, arthritis, fibromyalgia, fertility issues, skin problems, high blood pressure, migraine, anxiety, depression, sore back, muscle spasms, low energy, initial stages of influenza, colds, bronchitis, etc. (those are the traditional treatments), can even help fractures and surgeries heal faster.
Where should cupping NOT be used?
Over an artery, varicose veins, moles, cuts, very thin skin (most ‘Yin’ areas), on people with blood thinners, clotting problems, and thrombosis. Sometimes, if you are very dehydrated (common in Colorado) you may take longer to get a good result.
Gua Sha is a system of scraping the skin to elicit the movement of fluids under the skin; lymph, interstitial fluid, blood, etc. This movement helps the healing process in that it helps the body become more fluid and mobile. When an area of the body have been stiff and stagnant, the scraping of Gua Sha helps to move the fluids and stimulate healing and re-connection with the tissues. Below are the tools I use for Gua Sha or scraping.
This all begins with a detailed assessment of your balance, general strength and flexibility. In that assessment we look for changes in the way you stand, bend, and move. We can determine which muscles are over working, too tight, or too week and develop a training plan with you to fix it. A typical session is one half hour and TRAINS you. You get to go home and do the work, then re assess in a couple weeks to check progress. At Natural BodyWorks, we offer Corrective Exercise sessions in order to assist you in correcting musculoskeletal impairments or imbalances, injury recovery and/or enhancements to your movement, balance, strength and stability.
Our Certified Corrective Exercise Specialist is here to help you determine the TRUE source of your pain, discomfort, limited range of motion or decreased mobilization. (Often times, the area of pain or discomfort is not the actual source of the impairment). Through various, yet simple assessments, we will ‘track down’ the imbalance, and design an exercise program that will help correct that imbalance.
Stretch / Flexibility
The third aspect of injury prevention is your body’s ability to accommodate and/or recover from potentially injurious situations. Your body, much like a spaghetti noodle, is much LESS likely to SNAP if its mobile, pliable and flexible when put in a physically abrupt or reactionary situation. Whether sports-related activities, or just every day functionality, increasing your flexibility will help you give your body the “upper hand” when it is faced with physically challenging situations. Our sessions are ½ hour, and we use various stretching techniques to help you get your body in its most ‘bendable’ condition.