Cupping & Needling

I’m all sorts of out of order here, but I just found a picture in my phone and remembered that I wanted to talk about it here.

One of the things the PT did during my visits was cupping. Google it if you want more info, because I am absolutely not going to provide a technical description.

Basically there are these cup-shaped things they put on your problem areas, areas with cording, scar tissue, etc. There’s a little tool that sucks the air out so that the cups stick to you. They either leave the cup in place, or move it around like a massage.

This is one result of that.

Looks like a hickey, right? Or what I’d imagine my arm would look like with the vacuum hose attached for a while.

The first time I had this done, ouch! What she was trying to break up was tiiiiight, so it hurt something fierce. The second and third time, not so bad. And it definitely broke up some of that scar tissue in my right under arm, so that’s cool.

During my last visit to the PT before I had surgery, she did needling as well. They use a small acupuncture needle to do like a quick jab into the corded tissue, and it helps break it up. She compared it to a rope, so if the scar tissue was a rope pulled tight, then the needle goes in, it unravels the rope. Simple enough concept.

Anyway, the needling were all small pricks, and one definitely hit a nerve that made my finger twitch (all of the needling was happening in my under arm). I felt it much more later that evening, like a dull ache.

Physical Therapy

I’ve had a few physical therapy sessions now. We do various exercises to stretch my right shoulder, and then started doing the same with my left since I fell in the jump castle at my niece, Gabby’s, birthday party, and super stretched that side. They did say I probably increased the range of motion on that side, though…so there’s that. Everyone got a good laugh. Yay, I’m funny.

Anyway, the stretches feel nice, and they’re easy and practical enough that I can do them at home as well. They’ve also told me that they don’t usually get people who come in who are already exercising, so that’s pretty cool. I guess most of the time people are injured, so they can’t exercise.

I’ve been taught some simply lymphatic massage techniques, too. Ways to sort of wake up the lymph system, particularly on my right side where some of the lymph nodes were removed.

The exercises are not strenuous at all, but I can see how they may become so after I’ve had the surgery and am sore in the shoulder area.

So, surgery is just a few days away now and I’m doing my best to stay active and energized! And positive, of course.