Intention

Massage and Bodywork

Modalities of Massage

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Cupping with Intention

Sculpting through massage therapy.

But first,

Anatomy and Kinesiology (my university education):

The scientific study of the human body and its movements-

with the muscles and bone attachments

seen as a system of levers and pulleys.


Your body has a foundation,

and all movement and postures you've habitually maintained- whether active or passive- have created a level of tensity

and a contracted/overly-stretched state of your muscles/fascia from the perspective of gravitational force on the planes of your body

(front/back, side/side, and upper/lower).


Habitual postures or movements worth analyzing include the way you sit, drive, walk, exercise, work, and sleep.


Fascia:

A band or sheet of connective tissue, primarily collagen, covering your body beneath the skin that attaches, stabilizes, encloses, and separates muscles and other internal organs. Fascia has a gelatinous composition- and can be physically influenced by sustained pressure/heat (massage compression!)


Deep Tissue: 

A type of bodywork targeting the inner muscles and connective tissues characterized by slow, deep compression and strokes

applied parallel to the muscle fibers.

This is the foundation of my work-

with the Intention of stripping and reorganizing all of the muscle fibers into alignment- like straightening threads of yarn which have gotten tangled!


Trigger Point Therapy:

Trigger point "knots" are described as hyperirritable spots in the skeletal muscle associated with palpable nodules in taut bands of muscle fibers. Firm, constant pressure to these points tends to lessen the tension and reorganize the fibers into alignment for proper individual muscular fiber movement. During the process of Deep Tissue Sculpting, we're bound to find these significant, achy spots- these are like clumps of glue your body has produced to ensure the muscle doesn't completely tear from overstretching or working out (scar tissue).


Structural Integration (Rolfing Technique):

Structural integration is a soft tissue approach to re-establishing natural alignment. 'When a body is aligned in gravity it works properly'. Structural Integration aligns and balances the body by releasing fascial adhesions built up over time. This allows muscles to move more efficiently and the body to return to its optimal posture after strain, poor posture and injuries. This modality works best without oil applied- just sustained, Intention-based pressure in the direction of muscular insertion to attachment (in most cases, proximal to distal meaning- close to far). Like riding a wave while surfing, this style takes time for the body to allow the practitioner to move while compressed. It's not about forcing the movement, but waiting for the tissues to soften, warm, unarm.


Thai-Style Compressions:

Compressions are direct applications of pressure into a muscle, usually against underlying bone. This has long-lasting results that include muscular softening and lengthening; muscles are flushed with interstitial stasis reduced; released histamines dilate capillaries with increased cellular nutrition; muscles fire faster and collagen production increased; fascia is rejuvenated and becomes more elastic with better circulation; range of motion is increased; and pain is lessened or eliminated. Friction can also be used while in compression with the Intention of loosening the fascial webbing (this is also used in the Melt foam rolling method).


Active Release Therapy:

Soft tissue method that focuses on relieving tissue tension via the removal of fibrosis/adhesions that can develop in tissues as a result of overload due to repetitive use. These may lead to muscular weakness, numbness, aching, tingling and burning sensations. Deep compression is used directly at the area of tenderness while the muscles are moved either actively or passively, allowing the muscles to realign and lengthen. 


Swedish/Circulatory:

Long, vertical and circular strokes, kneading the surface and slightly deeper muscles to assist circulation by increasing oxygenation in the bloodstream, consequently flushing out toxins and soothing tense, sore muscles and promoting relaxation, increasing circulation, and reducing stress. More area can be treated, but less pressure is used to glide in a faster, softer massage.

​​MyoFascial Cupping:

Negative pressure massage using silicone cups to create a partial vacuum- creating space and intending to separate the layers of skin, fascial webbing, and individual muscles that facilitates smoother movement and less friction with movement, enabling better range of movement with less pain.


Cupping draws blood to the local area- increasing blood flow through the tissue as well as mobilizing metabolic waste for better circulation through the tissues (which means that post-session hydration is key!)

About the Cups:

I choose to use silicone cups to allow for stationary longer holds,

as well as a gliding technique to address the fascia in its entirety as a sheet covering the body (think of tugging at one edge of your knit sweater affecting the entirety of the sweater).


Compared to traditional glass cups, silicone cups are easy to sterilize and clean, make it difficult to overtreat a client, and are most accommodating in allowing suction along bones without pain (picture glass pressed into bone with suction- probably not cozy).

My training advised that stationary cups should be left in place for 2-5 minutes. 

Cupping Marks:

Stationary Cupping is beneficial for deeper tissue and effectiveness and is likely to leave cupping "marks" compared to Gliding Cupping which keeps cups moving, avoiding marks, and reaches more superficial tissue. Depending on the degree of flushing and the quality of circulation in the tissue, treatment will result in either only a slight reddening of the skin, or a red/purple mark. The degree and quality of the cupping mark depends on the strength of the suction in the cup, the amount of local blood circulation, and the amount of metabolic waste in the area.

The degree of marking is also dependent on skin type.

The increase in local blood flow creates a red appearance, which can appear pronounced the longer the blood is drawn to the targeted area, and depends on the amount of circulation to the area prior to the cupping session.


Dark blood is a sign of heat with decreased blood flow, which in many cases demonstrates injury and inflammation.

Cupping Indications:

Cupping can be used on varicose veins, lightly. Cupping has been demonstrated to be effective in the following conditions: Arthritic Pain (creating heat and movement in joints), Headaches (drawing blood down and away), Common Cold/Bronchitis (contraindicated for fever), Asthma (chest and midback tension), Back Pain (light over kidneys and contraindication of disc herniation), Scar Tissue (3 months post-injury; with scar then zigzag; keloid contraindicated, Edema and Swelling (pitted edema and diabetic neuropathy contraindicated), Aches, Pains, Limited and Painful Movement.

Contraindications:

Cupping tends to be intense initially, then dissipates.

Cupping should not be painful and suction can be lessened at any time:


  • Excessive body hair can make it hard for the cups to keep constant suction
  • Facial cupping includes lighter gliding technique or stationary light suction over TMJ area, which may easily result in marking
  • Allergy to Silicone?
  • Blood Thinner for history of DVT/Blood Clotting?
  • Insulin/Steroid/Pain/Botox Injection Site? 
  • Disc Herniation/Bulging Disc?
  • Spray Tan/Sunburn/Existing Cupping Marks?
  • Lymphedema affected limb/Lymphatic Blood Cancer?
  • Pregnant? We won't cup lower back or abdomen


Cup Sterilization:

I soap scrub, Sporox soak overnight, then air-dry cups between each use.

I use Sporox (hydrogen peroxide 7.5% dilution)

which is anti-microbial, anti-sporicidal, and anti-fungal.

High level disinfection takes 30 minutes of soaking which is acceptable

(kills bacteria and viruses but not a number of bacterial spores),

but sterilization is confirmed with 6+hours of Sporox soak,

which is my procedure.

I replace the sterilization product every 3 weeks, ongoing.

Booking a cupping massage allocates approximately 30 minutes of stationary/gliding cupping during your massage!