Myofascial Decompression (MFD) cupping is a form of instrument assisted soft tissue mobility (IASTM) where a cup is placed onto the skin, and a pump is used to create a negative pressure vacuum. MFD cupping provides neural input via mechanoreceptors to reduce pain, improve tissue mobility, improve blood flow/circulation, and improve functional mobility. MFD cupping can also cause neurological and mechanical responses that improve healing time.
MFD cupping is the only type of treatment that works by lifting the tissue instead of compressing. If collagen is cross bonded, and fibrosis around tissue leads to decreased blood flow, pulling up on these structures instead of pressing them down can allow improved mobility.
The cup may be left on the skin for a set amount of time, or the therapist may slide/move the cup on the skin. The cup may also be placed on the skin while loading the tissue through movement. Treatment time typically varies between 1-10 minutes per treatment region.
After cupping, the patient may experience ecchymosis (skin discoloration) from the suction, which may last a few weeks.
Common treatment areas include:
- Upper Trap/Shoulder
- Low Back
- IT Bands