Cupping Therapy for Myofascial Pain is an integral part of Classical Chinese acupuncture and is very useful for myofascial pain and sports medicine b/c it breaks up adhesions in the fascia and brings new blood to the area when capillaries are deliberately ruptured.. Olympic swimmer Michael Phelp’s circles in the attached article are quite dark b/c of all the tension or Qi and Blood stagnation in his sinews from the olympian demands made on his muscles and fascia.
In Chinese medicine we also do “sliding cupping therapy” which affects a wider distribution of the skin, muscle, and connective tissue than the stationary cups in the picture. I fine this very helpful when there is so much tension and the patient has trouble relaxing, it has a more relaxing affect and is more like suction “massage”
I did cupping therapy today on 3 patients, one with headaches, one with stress tension, and one with an AC joint separation from a bicycling injury. Cupping is also used for initial phase of colds and, along with bloodletting, for acute sprain/strain injury.
Read more about cupping therapy for myofascial pain and in sports medicine here, and about moxabustion and cupping here.