You may have seen patients in the clinic exercising with cups on their bodies and wondered about this treatment. Myofascial decompression or “cup therapy” has been gaining popularity since Michael Phelps was seen sporting his round marks at the 2016 Olympics. Myofascial decompression is a modern adaptation of a form of ancient Chinese medicine. In our physical therapy practice, we use the cups over restricted areas in the muscle during specific movement and exercise in order to correct movement dysfunction. The cups provide a negative pressure to decompress the area, and when coupled with movement, the treatment can retrain the body's movement patterns.
This past weekend, Family Physical Therapy sent 3 of our physical therapists to University of California San Francisco Medical Center to learn the science and latest research behind this treatment that is gaining so much momentum within professional sports! After learning about recent MRI studies that support the use of cups for reducing trigger points and improving mobility, Brett, Marcia and Ila spent the day learning specific movement-based techniques to use with the cups.
At Family Physical Therapy, we believe it is important to stay educated on the latest medical research in the fields of exercise and physiology. Cup therapy provides us another tool to treat muscular and fascial dysfunction.
A special thank you to Bay Area Sports Performance and Rehabilitation and Christopher Daprato for a great class on Myofascial Decompression Techniques.