cupping therapy

June 6, 2020

Energy Fitness loves helping our clients and anyone interested in getting more fit, healthier, reduce or eliminate pain, increase range of motion, work around injuries, decrease muscle imbalances and in general feel better and more youthful. Anyway, all this to be said we know how to use complimentary methods other than just our personal training and massage therapy services to help clients feel and look their best and we want to teach you DIY methods as well.

Let’s face it, if you can’t move well then you have increased your chance of future injury or decrease your chances of recovering from nagging injuries or pesky aches and pains.

Think of massage as compression therapy helping to glide the skin with some friction to help “unstick the fascia” and help increase blood flow, etc. Cupping therapy is decompression therapy as the skin is a handle and the suction aids to pull the skin and muscle away from the fascia still “unsticking the fascia” but as a different modality. People with underlying health conditions, diabetes, swelling or open wounds, inflamed skin, a high fever or convulsions, people taking blood thinners or pregnant women should not have a cupping procedure.

To facilitate wellness we have to be detectives and ask the right questions as well as watch our clients move their bodies. We need to teach and provide tools that may help in helping you feel your best. If the modalities are new to you then we must bring into your awareness this method and the science behind it. Last year Energy Fitness hosted and a few staff members including myself attended Rock Tape classes ranging from Functional Movement Basic & Advanced, Rock Tape (Kinesiology tape), Rock Pods (this is the cupping certification), Rock Floss, Rock Blades & Blades Advanced. I have all of these expect for the Rock Floss but got an intro to it in one of the other classes in which the same principles apply as the Rock Tape.

What are Rock Pods or Cupping Therapy?

This is only a teaser introduction as there’s a lot to it. This post is only discussing the stationary cupping method with some additional movement of parts of the body to help improve results.

I’ll create a video me doing other types of therapy on my oldest son as an upcoming blog post as well as how to use other methods of cupping like the silicone larger cups and cupping gun for dramatic reduction of cellulite appearance that has worked on several clients. Mae Jensen, our LMT is certified in using the cupping gun as well as other various certifications so we may have her in the video demonstrating or teaching as well. Of course you may contact us to schedule an appointment virtually or onsite to teach you how to DIY yourself for this treatment as well 901-466-6242.

Rock pods are simply the trademarked name from Rock Tape for the silicone plunger looking pods/cups they use. Regardless of what type of cupping you do just know that there is more than one method to get results you need.These same pods are available under a different name as well at a much lower price point as I have purchased a few for resale in our small pro shop.

3 different levels of intensity
exist with the pods

  1. flash cupping: this is where you just quickly press the pod on the area of skin and suction back up so as it won’t stay suctioned on the skin for more than a second
  2. plunger: this is where you put the pod on the skin and with the plunger type handle gripped with your fingers push down until the pod is suctioned to you skin.
  3. inverted: this is the most intense and where you turn the pod inside out then place on the skin. This one really gets you and the on I use most often unless it’s a very sensitive area and I’m not quite ready to be so aggressive with. I say it feels like it’s biting you.

In hard to plunger areas you can squeeze the sides of the pod in as to get a suction to skin. I did this on a cousin last year near her ankle scar from surgery as she still had pain and limited range of motion. I placed the pods on her dry skin (AND HERE’S THE METHOD SO  LISTEN UP) and grabbed the handle to gently and gradually more aggressive twisted the pod to the left and right with the doorknob method. I also pulled at the pod attempting to pull the skin away from the muscle thus helping to also unstick the fascia. Next I had her point her toe as I placed pod on her achilles and soleus muscle. Then I asked her to stand and walk or do a few squats as to have the pods be more intense with the muscles going through the range of motion. She was so appreciative of this therapy and said she felt more movement. Full disclosure, we found one spot that the pods were really struggling to get but stayed with it and wow she felt that bite of the inverted method but the pods left no marks.

With the pods stationary method you will be able to see if the area really is stuck because the plunger handle might not come all the way up or the pod is squeezed sideways.

TIP**The fascia is more pliable when warm from exercise, hot bath or shower or warm towels. We do not recommend this stationary cupping on wet or slightly wet skin. If you want the cupping to leave marks then of course this is the fastest way to make that happen as blood will pool to the skin which is not necessarily a bad thing but can take a week or more to go away.

One client came in complaining of shoulder pain and I when I cupped his bicep he thought I was crazy. Tight biceps can cause shoulder pain. He soon became addicted to it and asked for more each time he came in. We taught him how to do on himself so he can always have this in his DIY toolbox. Of course it’s always better to be pampered and just have someone else do it if you won’t make yourself do it. Accountability!

These are what are for sale starting next week onsite and the PDF that accompanies the set.


Call, text or email us to get started today!
901-466-6242 or

Tonya Tittle, M.S., ACSM
Owner/Dir. of Training, Energy Fitness (established 2002)
ACSM, TPI Level 1 Certified, Rock Tape, Rock Pods (cupping therapy), Rock Tape Blades & Blades Advanced
FMT Basic, Metagenics FLT

The services below are to resume June 1, 2020 but with when the lock down on social distancing has lifted but we have new guidelines that will be followed such as staff will be wearing face coverings as well as clients for massage. You will have to sign a Covid19 release form, wash your hands upon arrival, etc.

Click  here for information on our Healing Arts Services



November 23, 2019

It is rare that someone comes into Energy Fitness who doesn’t have a least one scar from a scrape, fall, cut or surgery. When our personal trainers are doing fitness assessments on our clients at Energy Fitness, personal training studio located downtown Memphis we see all kinds of scars. Mostly we see scars in the abdomen and core area when pinching body fat and taking measurements. Most of us want to hide our scars or hope that no one mentions them at all. Some scars hold onto emotional traumas from the past we don’t want to revisit. You may have heard that we store emotions in our fascia. This can be around scars, burns and stretched tissues because they are also are living tissue.

I have a small 1 inch dent on the outside of my upper thigh from a dog bite in middle school. I had four stitches. My kids always tried to poke it because they thought it was fascinating. Until only about 8 years ago I didn’t like people touching it as it freaked me out and always felt like it was glued to the tissue underneath. It wasn’t until I started pinching it away from the underlying tissue, trigger point rolling it and cupping it (recently) that it is totally in-sync with the rest of my thigh. Armed with this knowledge I was much better about caring for my bunion surgery scars.

Left foot 7 years post bunion surgery
Right foot 5 week post bunion surgery             Right foot 13 months post surgery scar







Taking care of oneself is a proven way to stimulate health and wellness and this means your scars also. Overall daily stretching and movement, frequent manipulation of the affected tissues, rest, sleep, and general health and wellness principles can all help to aid in healing scar tissue or old affected sites.

Although it’s not something that’s widely discussed with care teams and surgeons, the size and appearance of a scar is something that patients think about. Whether you’ve had a hip replacement, knee replacement, meniscus surgery, ACL reconstruction, shoulder or back surgery, breast implants or C-Section a scar is inevitable. Although you won’t have a ton of control over how your body will scar, there are things you can do when it comes to breaking up scar tissue and adhesions with massage, kt taping and cupping therapy. You can play a role in healing your scar(s).

Massage therapists can help address the fallacy that nothing can be done to change this tissue by practicing focused therapy on scars and burns as well as personal trainers and fitness professionals teaching clients this concept.

Clients need to be educated about the living matrix so they can bring attention and touch to injured or damaged areas. This attention will help re-program false thoughts and rewire the brain to re-map and re-integrate this tissue back into the whole system.

The body feeds and nurtures all parts of the body—so why would a scar or stretched tissue be any less deserving? Oxygen, nutrients, fluid and waste products are all found in the matrix of any scar.

Scars tend to be missing lymph return and blood supply (capillaries). The research I have done shows manual manipulation may stimulate the creation of blood vessels (angiogenesis) by stimulating the area, causing local inflammation and then triggering a remodeling phase.

This is thought to occur because various growth hormones are released in the remodeling phase of scar or wound repair. These hormones can trigger angiogenesis.

Did you know scars don’t tan…they burn? The structural properties of a scar are different from regular skin. Scar tissue doesn’t have melanin (which is responsible for skin pigmentation). In fact, scars are more susceptible to UV damage and get sunburned more easily than regular skin. Always put sunscreen on and cover your scar in the sun!

Scar tissue forms during the healing process as the body produces collagen fibers to close and heal a wound. These collagen fibers do not grow in the same, consistent direction, and therefore are discolored and can have an uneven texture.

The appearance of a scar largely has to do with your genetics. In addition, if your incision or wound is on part of the body that is under tension, is tighter, more stretched, and is less fleshy or fatty (like a shoulder, shin, or knee) your scar will be more pronounced than say, if on your buttocks.

Scars will continue to heal and fade for up to two years after an incision or injury.

  • remodeling phase in your incision healing involves the lightening of your scar as the scar heals
  • mature scar is smaller, flatter, and paler
  • during the healing process, there are ways to improve how your scar heals and for larger scars over joints, it’s critical that you “work” your scar to prevent tightness

Before you start massaging your scar or enlisting a professional to perform scar tissue massage, your scar has to be in a good place. Do not massage until your incision has fully healed and is a scar (not just a wound or scab). If you massage your scar prematurely you could cause it to reopen or tear, leading to an infection.

Do not massage a scar until at least 2 weeks after a surgery or injury. Massaging scar tissue is most effective in the first 2 years while the scar is still forming and healing.

Why Scar Tissue Massage?

Massaging scar tissue has many benefits. Here are of the main reasons to regularly scar massage;

  • Decrease scar tissue build-up. Excess scar tissue can make muscles stiff and weaker, and in some cases can require scar tissue removal surgery.
  • Helps improve blood flow, which promotes healing and the scar’s pliability.
  • Drains excess fluid to reduce swelling and proliferation.
  • Helps regain feeling in the area and decrease numbness, tingling, soreness.
  • Increases range of movement and the scar’s flexibility. This makes movements feel less restrictive and “tight”.
  • May help with the appearance of your scar.

How to Massage Your Scar

As listed above, there are lots of benefits to scar tissue massage. When scar tissue is broken down through massage, you can help your body heal faster, and possibly reduce the appearance of your scar. Here’s how we recommend you massage your scar tissue at home:

  • In early healing phases, try and massage your scar for 10-15 minutes a day (2-3 times a day for 5 mins).
  • Apply a non-perfumed Vitamin E lotion or oil to your scar area. Vitamin E is proven to help build collagen and massaging with lotion lubricates the skin, cutting down friction.
  • Using the pad of your thumb or finger, firmly massage in a circular motion. You should be pressing hard enough that your fingernail turns from pink to white, but it should not be painful. First go up the scar clockwise, work your way up and around your scar slowly but maintaining a firm pressure. Switch it up by massaging counter-clockwise. This will help to drain excess fluid from the area.
  • Next, stretch the skin apart around your scar, and repeat your massaging with a firm circular motion using your thumb or finger.
  • With pressure, slowly slide your finger up the scar while apply pressure. Change direction by slowly sliding down.
  • Repeat the process several times for 5 minutes or so.
  • Ladies post C-Section and have a scar. Try this: try lowering your legs to floor from a lying on your back face up position. Start with feet in air and keeping your back flat on the floor keep your upper body in contact with the floor throughout the whole range of motion. Difficult? Now pinch your C-Section scar and try again. You can help deactivate the tissue surrounding or decompress to aid in better function of your core.

Scientific proof: A case study of kinesiology taping for scar management

Stretch Marks

Stretch marks (epithelial stretch marks) are different than scars, but may also be addressed in a similar manner. Clients who have quickly gained or lost a lot of weight, had lymphedema or been pregnant are all candidates for stretch marks.  Generally, this is a condition where the skin (the epidermis, dermis and superficial fascia) is stretched quicker than the epithelial tissue can adapt, so the tissue that is affected is elongated and stretched.  Generally, there is a weaker matrix to support this stretched tissue; thus, the epidermis appears rippled and has wrinkles.



Tonya Tittle, M.S., ACSM, TPI Level 1 Certified, Rock Tape, Rock Pods (cupping therapy), FMT Basic, Metagenics FLT
Owner/Dir. of Training, Energy Fitness (established 2002)

GIVE US A CALL AT 901-466-6242

Click  here for information on our Healing Arts Services (Massage, Body Wraps, Reiki, Chakra Alignment, Crystal Therapy
We also have all natural spray tanning, facials & KT/Rock Tape taping, Rock Pods (myofacial release).