For those of us watching the Olympic athletes compete to be their best, we get a chance to see how far one will push themselves to accomplish this.  Many competitors train excessively and make great sacrifices to achieve their quest for greatness.  It is not surprising that many of the participants look to a variety of approaches to treat and manage their strains, sprains, and injuries.  We have seen them wearing supportive “taping” techniques (kinesio taping) popularized in the previous Summer Olympics by the USA Beach Volley Ball team.  Now the “newest” example of specialized procedures to help has been observed with Michael Phelps, the USA swimming champion, exhibiting those “mysterious perfectly round” bruises!  He is using a method called “cupping” to treat Acupoints more commonly called Myofascial Trigger Points in Western Medicine terminology.  Many folks have heard of “Acupuncture” but are not aware that there are multiple ways to address “Acupoints/Trigger points” without “puncturing” them.  Pressure has been and still is the most popular, beneficial and least risky approach to treat them.  Needling (Acupuncture), Scraping (Gua sha is the Asian term; IASTM and/or Graston are the Western terms) and Cupping techniques were developed as additional ways to stimulate the “points”.  Today we have a better understanding of these areas of the body that include muscle, tendon, ligament, fascia, skin, and periosteum (tissue that covers the bone) and how they have a huge influence on how we feel and function.  Most of us are not “gifted athletes” competing on the world stage but we are all working and playing hard in our daily lives…. either pushing ourselves hard, doing the same thing over and over again at our jobs, or just not taking care of ourselves the way we should.  Myofascial (Acupoints) treatment should be part of your health care for maximum health and function.


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