RockPods for myofascial cupping are a new treatment option we are offering at Pro-Am.
What exactly are they?
A modern twist from the traditional style of cupping which uses silcone instead of glass cups to create negative (decompression) pressure to lift, seperate and stretch underlying tissues. The pods allow the therapist to grab, pull and push fascia to treat pain, mobility and movement dysfunction.
What does it do?
It affects the bodies nerves, immune and fascial systems. Cupping encourages the bodies natural healing process by encouraging flow and discouraging congestion. Research is limited like it is for all holistic therapies, everyone is different so it is hard to find a baseline measure. This therapy potentially dates back 5000 years so its stuck around for a reason. We can theorize a little with our knowledge of human science.
- By lifting fascia we create space and increase blood flow to an area. This means more oxygen and nutrients to the tissues. It encourages both healing and the removel of waste products which can get congested in the area.
- Increase in blood flow means a dilation of blood capillaries. This encourages positive chemical and cellular effects towards modulating pain and aiding the healing process.
It differs and is unique to other therapies in that it creates a lift and decompression of tissues rather than compression.
Due to the silicone material it also allows for the patient to work through passive and active ranges of motion whilst the pods stay in place. This is great for aiding tissue mobility and adds a neural element.
When an area gets congested it can become stiff, painful and uncordinated as nerve messages get dampened, like trying to make your way through fog. Take knee pain for an example, how many of you have had a sense that the knee may just give way, or maybe it does buckle little? or you have had an ankle sprain and you notice your ankle feels weak and wobbly? The pods don’t just help remove decongestion but help get the area to reconnect to the bodies sensory map. This can help towards decreasing pain and improve motor control and injury prevention.
Getting patients moving is the key ingrediant to recovering from injury. RockPods add another great treatment option to our other soft tissue therapies.
What are those circular marks?
The cupping treatment will leave non painful red/brown circles where the RockPods have been placed. They will usually last for up to 1-2 weeks. They are NOT bruises. Blood vessels release blood under the skin as a result of the suction. This causes the colour change. Bruises are soft tissue damage caused by blunt trauma, cupping is not a trauma.
Where there is congestion or as old Chinese medicine calls it stagnation; there will be pain. Remove the stagnation and you improve the pain. The marks can be seen, to be that stagnation coming to the surface. Areas that have no stagnation or as further treatments are perfomed no marks are left. Drawing the stagnation closer to the skins surface means the body can remove it more effectively.
RockPods are applied for a much shorter time than traditional cupping reducing the marks left. For most it is a pale red to slight purple colour.
Is it Painful?
Thats another great aspect to the treatment. All patients so far have felt no pain, just an awareness and possibly a slight discomfort as tissues are stretched. Deep soft tissue techniques can sometimes be quite uncomformtable as they create compression which can irritate already inflammed tissue. RockPods have the opposite effect.
I think the only downside to RockPods is the shortness of treatment, they are left in place for a maximum of 90 seconds, with different placements and adding in movements, an effective treatment can take place in 10 minutes.
RockPods for us are an addition to our manual skills. For us at Pro-Am we also believe it gives us more time to go through exercises and home treatment plans. Don’t forget treatments are to reduce pain and improve mobilty to get YOU MOVING, they are only tempory in their effects. Graded exercise and moving is what gets an injury better in the long term.
We will always ask for your consent before we perform any RockPod treatment making sure you understand the temporary discolourations that can be left. You have every right to decline RockPod treatment as we have plenty of other treatment options if the discoloration marks make you uncomfotable.
Are RockPods for me?
RockPods are typically applied to large areas like the back of the neck, upper back, upper arm and forearm, mid and lower back, sacrum, thighs and calfs. They can be used to reduce pain, relieve tension and increase tissue mobility where fibres have become congested (unblocking and re-oiling the machine).
I have used Rockpods for when my shoulders were feeling really tense and my quadriceps were feeling heavy due to training loads. I definately felt alot lighter and more relaxed but what was also great was I could still train hard after. Normally after a massage even though it feels great I can also feel wiped out and usually take a few rest days.
Anybody who would like to try RockPods out during February and March will get a £5 discount off a full price injury consultation or deep tissue massage.