Therapeutic Overview

 
 
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Myofascial Decompression (Cupping)

The traditional way of using MFD is following the meridian lines of the body. The cups are placed along these particular ‘meridian’ or fascial lines to elicit change within the body. I have also known people who had it done to help with general back pain and soreness. Funny thing is, they fell asleep with the cups on them. When it’s being used in this manner, anything is possible.

A completely different method, useing the same equipment, can elicit such different results. Two of the three require active movement from the athlete after the cups have been placed:

1.    The first is an active flexion/extension movement. Although painful at the start, most of the athletes indicate more movement. After treatment the range of motion increases by ten to fifteen degrees.

The more aggressive technique has that athlete prone, leg off the table, hip flexed, and knee flexed. The goal is to get the heel down and extend the knee. If they can get the heel to touch the ground then that is excellent progress. For runners, this mimics more the motion required to propel forward. Again, this

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Scaping (Gua Sha)

Gua sha is a natural, alternative therapy that involves scraping your skin with a massage tool to improve your circulation. This ancient Chinese healing technique has also been updated to offer a unique approach to better health, addressing issues like chronic pain.

A technician scrapes your skin with short or long strokes to stimulate microcirculation of the soft tissue, either with titanium or friction strokes - these movements increases blood flow. They make these strokes with a smooth-edged instrument. The technician applies massage oil to your skin, and then uses the tool to repeatedly scrape your skin in a downward motion.

Gua sha is intended to address stagnantion in the body that practitioners believe may be responsible for inflammation. Inflammation is the underlying cause of several conditions associated with chronic pain. Rubbing the skin’s surface is thought to help break up this energy, reduce inflammation, and promote healing.

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Electrical Stimulation

Electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) means applying electricity to the body to increase or decrease activity in the nervous system. The different names come from applying the current in different ways, to different parts of the body, or for different reasons) techniques.

What does TENS stand for?

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)

Intended for temporary pain relief in sore and aching muscles or for symptomatic relief of chronic pain

  • Most pervasive type of electrical stimulation (a search for “TENS units” on Amazon.com brings up over 60,000 results)

  • Typically limited in functionality, but cheap as a result

What does EMS stand for?

Electrical muscle stimulation (EMS)

  • Intended for strengthening muscles, increasing muscle size, improving muscular endurance, and accelerating muscle recovery

  • Also similar to TENS, but designed to make the muscles contract strongly

  • Typically used by athletes, especially for muscle recovery

What Does NMES:

Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES)

  • Intended for relaxing muscle spasms, preventing muscle atrophy, increasing blood circulation, maintaining or increasing range of motion, and especially for re-educating the neuromuscular system

  • Essentially the same as EMS, but typically focused on therapeutic use (rehab) instead of athletic use (training)