Athletes all over the world from Wang Qun in the 2008 Olympics to tennis pro Andy Murray and more recently, the Mets, all talk about how cupping therapy has helped them perform better. Mets’ players like Daisuke Matsuzaka, Matt Harvey, Bobby Abreu, and Jacob deGrom reveal how the therapy when used in combination with other forms of treatment has helped them heal from injuries and also speed up the recovery process after they have had surgery. Nick Paparesta who acts as the trainer for the Oakland Athletics admits that cupping therapy not only alleviates muscular stiffness, but also helps erase scars from surgery.
Cupping therapy is highly effective in helping athletes recover from the strenuous training they subject their bodies to. During intensive training, the athletes develop micro tears in their muscles and tissues. As these tissues heal, they help boost stamina and performance. However, the stress also leads to a buildup of toxins like cholesterol, calcium deposits, uric acid, and lactic acid in the muscles. If not cleared, these toxins can hamper the healing of the tissues. Cupping can break down the chemical structure of the compounds into simpler forms that can be expelled from the body by natural processes. For example, uric acid converts into ureates that can be easily eliminated by the urinary system.
In addition, cupping therapy can help heal the inflammation and stiffness in the joints. The reverse pressure exerted during cupping works to pull the tissues and muscles off the bones. The vacuum thus created fills with fresh blood and lymph that is rich in oxygen and nutrients. These infusions flood the affected area and cause it to heal. The lymph brings with it compounds that boost the body’s immunity besides aid in the healing process. While conventional medicine aims at suppressing inflammation, cupping therapy works to remove the causes of the inflammation. In this way, it speeds up healing and also removes pain and stress in the tissues.
Relief from Plantar Fasciitis
Myofascial decompression or cupping can help provide relief to athletes suffering from plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a ligament or a flat band-like tissue that connects the toes to the heel bone. Plantar fasciitis is a condition where the plantar fascia becomes inflamed and weak and as a result the patient feels an excruciating pain and is unable to set the foot down. Cupping can help relax this inflammation and thus, relieve the pain.
Cupping as Myofascial Decompression
Cupping therapy can also help relieve hamstring strains, and myofascial restrictions even if they result from training and not from some injury. The treatment helps increase flexibility so athletes can train longer and harder. When the procedure was performed on athletes, they noted better a better range of active flexion and extension movement. Cupping can also treat musculoskeletal injuries and relieve the spasms athletes suffer when undergoing intensive training.
Cupping therapy is an excellent form of noninvasive treatment that can help athletes enhance their performance and train better. If you would like to try the treatment, take care to look for a certified practitioner who is trained in myofascial decompression or cupping therapy. Many athletic trainers and physical therapists also take training and courses in the therapy. Make sure you choose one who has the required licensing and has the testimonials of other athletes that have taken the sessions with successful improvements.