The Magic of Massage TherapyThe Magic of Massage Therapy

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The Magic of Massage Therapy

I was going through intense physical therapy to recover after surgery, and every day I went to bed with sore, achy muscles. Finally, my physical therapist suggest I give massage therapy a try. Massage therapy really helped me relax and unwind after a hard day at physical therapy, but I think it also helped speed my recovery. It helped with blood flow and circulation, and I really felt much better after every session. I liked it so much that I kept going even after I was fully recovered. I started this blog to talk about the magic of massage therapy. It really helped me, and I believe that it can really help others as well. If you’ve been wanting to learn what massage therapy is like and how it helps, you’ll find the answers here on my blog.


Try Cupping Therapy To Relieve Back Pain

Back pain is a common aggravating problem, and it can be difficult to treat effectively. One promising treatment comes from traditional Asian medicine and may be offered by acupuncture clinics, chiropractic clinics with acupuncturists on staff, and integrative pain management centers. This therapy is known as cupping:

About Cupping Therapy

The therapy involves placing glass or plastic cups on the patient's back and slowly withdrawing air from the cups through a valve with a vacuum pump. That creates suction on the skin. The cups may be in a variety of sizes and shapes, depending on the specific effects the practitioner wants to achieve. The devices remain on the skin for several minutes. 

Traditionally, the vacuum was created with heat, but a vacuum pump is generally safer than attempting to regulate the temperature of plastic or glass on skin.

This treatment typically is used along with acupuncture or dry needling, a somewhat similar practice that a number of chiropractors provide. The cups can be used on their own or placed over a needle.

Benefits of Cupping Therapy

The pulling effect stimulates blood flow to the area, which enhances healing by bringing more oxygen and nutrients. It's believed that new blood vessels form in this part of the body, a healthy result that improves circulation. Cupping also stretches muscle fascia and connective tissue, leading to greater flexibility.

A certain amount of inflammation occurs, which also stimulates the body to heal. 

Side Effects

Patients may feel a bit of discomfort at the treated site during the therapy. After therapy, patients can expect a mark in the area that looks like a bruise; this is due to capillaries breaking during the suction effect. 

Relevant Research

Numerous studies have been conducted on the effectiveness of cupping therapy. A systematic review of 16 studies that was published in 2014 found that cupping was more effective than heat therapy and conventional medication used to treat acute and chronic pain. Adding cupping to acupuncture treatment increased the beneficial results of acupuncture. 

The studies reviewed verified short-term beneficial effects; longer-term studies are still needed. 

Concluding Thoughts

You may find that combining cupping with acupuncture and another therapy, such as massage or chiropractic care, is more effective for back pain than treatments you have tried so far. Contact pain management practitioners to learn which ones in your region offer this type of therapy, and then make an appointment to give the treatment a try.

Contact a company such as Southwest Florida Neurosurgical Associates if you have other questions.