Will Cupping Therapy Help Relieve Your Pain?

Cupping therapy has been around for thousands of years as a form of alternative medicine popular in Egyptian, Chinese and Middle Eastern cultures. It recently gained attention following the 2016 Olympics when multiple athletes were seen with circular bruises all over their bodies. This had many people scratching their heads and wondering what cupping was all about.

cupping therapy Michael Phelps

Kelsall Chiropractic Clinic has recently added cupping therapy to our list of services to help get you out of pain. Continue reading to learn more about how it works and see if cupping is right for you!

Cupping therapy works by suctioning the skin upwards away from the muscular tissue and can either be left stationary on the skin or moved across multiple areas with the use of lotion or other type of emollient.

The aim of this technique is to promote blood flow to injured or fatigued muscles to accelerate the natural healing process of the body. This increase in blood flow to the cupped area creates what many people identify as a bruise, but in reality is more like a hickey.

Some studies suggest that cupping therapy plays a role in pain management as well, however the exact mechanism warrants further investigation and research. A likely scenario is that cupping therapy affects the superficial cutaneous nerves in the skin and disrupts the pain signals going to the brain, similar to when you bump your elbow and reactively start rubbing it to decrease the pain.

There are several different styles of cupping therapies including “wet cupping” and “dry cupping” which can be done using cups made of different materials such as glass, bamboo or silicone. Wet cupping involves creating a small puncture in the surface of the skin and applying a cup over it to suction blood out which is believed to remove toxins from the body.

At Kelsall Chiropractic Clinic, we use the less invasive dry cupping method using silicone cups where one or more cups is applied to the skin and either left stationary or slid around the skin to promote healing and decrease pain.

Cupping therapy is a great alternative to other soft tissue and manual therapies offered at our clinic. See what cupping can do for you and schedule an appointment with Dr. Caroon or Dr. Kelsall either online or call at 503-223-8719.

Advanced Myofascial Mastery

About a month ago I decided to take a day-long course titled: Advanced Myofascial Mastery. It was taught by a guy by the name of Til Luchau who has been a bodyworker for over 30 years, and who is highly respected in his field.

The course was not what I was expecting.

Instead of a workshop on techniques (though we did learn a few), it was more of a philosophy course. The aim of bodywork, they said, should not be to think that we as massage therapists are moving muscle and tissue and making large physical changes in the patient’s body. We are not moving mountains here, but this is the prevailing assumption.

Studies have come out that show that massage therapy does little to change the structure of muscle and connective tissue. But it makes us feel better, so what then is it actually doing?

The aim, they continued, should be to engage the nervous system. That is where the pain lies. Sure there are muscle knots and muscle tension, but the nervous system is the underlying structure that controls that tension and how we perceive it. The nervous system is the computer of the body, in a sense.

Trauma, injury, pain and tension get left in the nervous system when we experience these things without releasing them. Our body is a series of circuits, and when we feel pain (electricity) we are conditioned to wince, to hold on, and to guard the area so that when the sensation runs through our nerves, we block its motion; it gets stuck inside of us.

What we can do, as massage therapists, is to gently persuade the nervous system to open up. To let that electricity pass through and move.

We can slowly coax that tension away not by force—jamming our elbow into your back to extinguish the knot—but by remaining present with the tension and most importantly, allowing you, the person on the table, to engage their nervous system and allow it to release the pain.

To feel is to heal. It’s not about us being healers or having magic hands, it’s about facilitating your body’s natural healing mechanism, and helping it along its way.

That’s why chiropractic works the way it does. An adjustment that realigns the spine directly affects how we perceive pain. With massage and chiropractic combined, we can gently persuade you into a more whole state of health.

Kinesiology Taping and Functional Movement Technique® (FMT) Using RockTape®

Kinesiology taping can offer structural or muscle support, affect lymph function, assist in correcting joint problems, and decrease pain. When properly applied by a practitioner, the tape alleviates discomfort and facilitates lymphatic drainage by microscopically lifting the skin away from the muscle and fascia, which decompresses the area to reduce swelling/inflammation while enabling a more effective flow of blood and lymphatic fluid in and out of the affected area.

Taping can also lessen muscle fatigue, which is important not only for the parts of your body that are currently hurting, but also for the surrounding areas that may be compensating for muscles that are currently not working well. It is a non-restrictive type of tape, offering full movement of a taped area.

Unlike other kinesiology taping techniques, where strict protocol is key and specific muscles are taped for specific conditions using directional taping to activate or inhibit muscles, RockTape and Functional Movement Techniques (FMT) are more about taping for movement, not muscles. The goal of using RockTape is to encourage movement.

FMT is useful in acute, sub-acute, and chronic stages of injury healing as well as throughout active rehab. There are FMT applications for decreasing pain (Pain Taping), increasing circulation and movement of lymph (Fluid Dynamics Taping), postural applications (Posture Taping), nerve entrapment (Nerve Entrapment) and even for scar tissue (Scar Taping).

FMT begins with a simple framework that is applied consistently throughout the approach and is open source, allowing practitioners from a variety of disciplines to make FMT work for their practices and clients.

The FMT framework for Pain Taping uses between 1-3 pieces of RockTape. These are known as the stabilization strip(s) and the decompression strip. Stabilization strips typically run along the length of the area being taped. For example, if the low back is indicated as the location of pain, a stabilization strip would be applied from the sacroiliac joint toward the lower ribcage and parallel to the spine.

The client is positioned to lengthen the area being taped, and in this case, a flexed forward position. This stretches the posterior fascial chain and skin before the tape is applied. Lengthening will produce significant decompression and lifting and without restricting the client’s ability to move. The stabilization strip is applied with little to no stretch.

After the stabilization strip is in place, a decompression strip is applied perpendicular to the stabilization strip and over the area of the client’s greatest pain. The decompression strip is applied using 0-50% stretch in the middle of the strip and with no stretch on the tape at the anchors. More than one decompression strip may be used in an application for targeting multiple areas of focal pain.

The practitioner will rub the applied strips on skin to activate the adhesive tape.

RockTape and Functional Movement Techniques can be used on almost any client, at any time, and can be used for virtually all clinical conditions. Different sizes of tape can be applied, length of stabilization strips can be altered depending on the location of application, and the number and position placement of decompression strips can vary as well allowing the practitioner some variances to obtain best results for their clients.

Meet Harper! Kelsall Chiropractic Welcomes New Office Puppy

Meet Harper! Our new clinic puppy. She is now just 3 months old and enjoying half-day visits to the clinic on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Harper is an Australian Labradoodle (mini labradoodle), which is a Labradoodle and Cockapoo mix. She is hypoallergenic and a non-shedder. Originally Australian labradoodles were bread as service dogs (smarty pants and attentive). So far she loves to greet people in the reception area with lots of tail wagging and spontaneously fun puppy energy. She also has a calm side to her where she just casually saunters around and then finds a cozy spot to take a nap.

This all started years ago when one of the clinic LMTs brought a puppy into the clinic for a few hours and all our patients that day couldn’t tell me how much they enjoyed having a few moments while in the reception area to enjoy the puppy. It brightened our whole clinic day.

I thought to myself… one day this would be a great addition to the clinic. And here we are, many years later. We have found our match.

The playfulness of a puppy and sincerity of an adult dog can touch your heart, relax you and uplift your day… feel free to stop by and say hello to Harper.

chiropractic office puppy

Here are just a few comments from our patients:

– “This just made my whole day!”

– “I may just need to make more appointments, now that you have Harper at the clinic.”

– “I think next time I will come early so that I have more play time with Harper.”

John

I began to see the benefits of chiropractic care at my first appointment with Dr. Kelsall. Having had spinal-fusion surgery, I felt like an especially challenging case. But after a few visits, I was surprised to find my chronic back pain completely gone. Issue resolved. I recommend Dr. Kelsall without hesitation to anyone with back trouble of any kind.

Kevin

Dr. Kelsall and the massage therapists have always taken good care of me. Karen is very thorough in her adjustments. Most importantly, she spends quality time with me. She is very professional and has taught me a lot about the importance of good spine health and the wellness of my entire, connected body.

Amy is an awesome office manager. She is always returns calls and does a great job dealing with insurance issues.

Aimee

Aimee

I came to Dr. Kelsall with an old sports injury. I expected a treatment plan to help alleviate my pain, which Dr. Kelsall provided. What I didn’t expect was for her to solve the problem. Today, my pain is gone. Everyone at the clinic is professional and trustworthy. I highly recommend Kelsall Chiropractic to athletes of all ages.

Dian

Having Karen as my chiropractor for the last 6+ years has proven invaluable to my job performance. As a PE teacher and an avid cyclist, my body gets a constant workout. When I see Karen regularly, I know that she and all her kind and well trained staff will keep my body fine-tuned and ready to go.

You can always count on cutting-edge treatment from Karen and a warm reception from everyone at the clinic.

Carrie

I look forward to my clinic visits, whether it’s for a regular check-up or for help with a specific problem. The staff is great and I always feel better afterward. I truly trust Dr. Kelsall in the adjustment room. And that’s the most important thing to me.

Jeff

I was having multiple monthly migraines when I made an appointment to see Dr. Kelsall. I could tell at our first meeting that I was in good hands. Dr. Kelsall found that my spine was considerably out of alignment and was probably the cause of my headaches. Within a couple of weeks of starting treatment, my headaches decreased in frequency and severity. Today, I am virtually headache-free. And I return to the clinic every month for a tune-up to keep me that way. Thank you, Dr. Kelsall, Margaret, and Amy.