Olympic Exposure to Cupping

By Danielle Eley

If you have been watching the Olympics or more specifically Michael Phelps you probably noticed the perfectly circular bruises on his back and shoulder. Welcome to the wonderful world of Cupping. While there is long history to this traditional Chinese medicine, it is now being utilized in the therapeutic realm, which refer to as Instrumental Myofascial Decompression or (IMFD). IMFD technique is used to not only increase blood flow to tissues, but also to increase fascial mobility or break down scar tissue to improve movement patterns. During application we encourage passive and active movement for neuromuscular re-education. I have had great success using IMFD on tissues that are difficult to mobilize with the hands, or tissues that would benefit from distraction rather than compression. The IT-band, hamstrings, shoulders and back are what I most commonly use it for and while patients typically look as though they were attacked by an octopus (short term), the long term results are great for improving mobility, increasing range of motion and decreasing pain.  If you have any questions about cupping email me at Danielle@santarosapt.com Special thanks to our great intern Trent for the demo!

Meditation and Relaxation for Neck Pain

By Dave Townsend

A new study published in the Journal of Pain showed that 8 weeks of meditation provided relief for patients with neck pain. This is great news for those of you with suffering from neck pain, back pain and other types of chronic pain that have a muscle tension component to it. As an experiment I have been trying mediation myself everyday for the past 3-4 weeks. I am a newbie to the world of mediation so I decided to try an app called Headspace to help get me pointed in the right direction.  

Wow, I can honestly say I am really surprised at how much a difference this has made in my overall sense of well being. This app, Headspace, is super easy, simple, and enjoyable because it takes away the barriers to mediation that many people have. It's presented in a way that is down to earth and accessible especially for those that are skeptical or have tried meditation before with little success.  

If you are struggling with pain, give it a try. It may help you gain more body awareness and allow for some muscle relaxation. The more you can relax your mind and your muscles the better your body will respond to physical therapy, stretching and exercise. If you give it a try, let me know how it goes. Shoot me an email at dave@santarosapt.com. And if want to learn more about fixing your neck and back pain with physical therapy feel free to email me or give us call at 707-545-1419