The Myofascial Vacuum Cupping Manual

ISBN: 0-9807622-2-7

The 56 page Manual is in 3 Parts and is supported by over 80 Photographs and diagrams.

PART 1: The Fundamental Principles

PART 2 : Practical Application

PART 3: The Use of 3 Additional Soft Tissue Treatment Tools in Clinical Practice


Rob has 23 years experience in Soft Tissue Therapy within the Australian Sports Medicine Multidisciplinary Model. Since 1992, he has delivered over 30 conference presentations within Australia, the UK, and New Zealand.

Rob was a contributor to the textbook Clinical Sports Medicine by Dr. P. Brukner and Dr. K. Khan, which is now in its 3rd revised edition and has sold over 40,000 copies worldwide. He is co-founder of the Australasian College of Soft Tissue Therapy and is the only Soft Tissue Therapist on the editorial board of the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Rob is based in Melbourne, Australia, and has been head of Massage Therapy/Soft Tissue Therapy/Myotherapy for:

•       Australian Olympic teams for Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000

•       Victorian Institute of Sport (10 years)

•       2006 Commonwealth Games, Melbourne

•       The Sports Medicine Centres of Victoria group practice (5 years)

•       Olympic Park Sports Medicine Centre (6 years)

•       Essendon, Australian Football League Football club (7 years)

•       Australian Commonwealth Games team Kuala Lumpur 1998

Rob was also a member of the Australian Olympic team for the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, as a Massage Therapist. He is currently in private practice in Melbourne and is a teacher in the Myotherapy Department at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University.

Rob has an Advanced Diploma of Remedial Massage (Myotherapy) from RMIT University, Melbourne and a Degree in Social Science from Deakin University.

PART 1: The Fundamental Principles

1)          Course Introduction – Outlining the History of the technique, Description, The Equipment and the Context – Very firmly grounded in a Western Medical Context

2)          Why is Myofascial Vacuum Cupping an essential Clinical Modality for the Remedial Therapist?

Firstly to effectively mobilise the dysfunctional components of the myofascial tissue to restore mobility and function.

Secondly to De-load stress from the Therapist.

3)          How does Myofascial Vacuum Cupping positively change tissue mobility?

Firstly the 4 types of soft tissue in the body are discussed especially focusing on the connective tissue then the layers of tissue from superficial to deep are outlined.

Connective Tissue in then looked at in more detail and the term Fascia is clarified

3 Types of Connective Tissue most relevant to Soft Tissue Therapy are defined

Dense Regular Connective Tissue

Dense Irregular Connective Tissue

Areolar (non-dense) Connective Tissue

Causes of Connective Tissue Dysfunction are then examined.

Excessive Stress OR Dissuse

4 theories are advanced as to how Myofascial Vacuum Cupping positively changes tissue mobility?

A. The Stimulation of Fibroblast activation:

B.    The Disruption of excessive collagen cross linkages:

C.    The Thixotropic-like nature of connective tissue and

D.    Through the Activation of mechano-receptors:

4)          The Body regions that are most suited for the technique are looked at.

5)          Selection of Appropriate Patients

6)          Contra-Indications to Vacuum Cupping: Absolute and Relative

7)          The 4 Key Principles of Application of Myofascial Vacuum Cupping to maximising effectiveness and limiting adverse tissue reaction are discussed

8)          How to use the modality effectively in Clinical Practice

PART 2: Practical Application of Myofascial Vacuum Cupping

9)          Practical Exercise 1 & 2: Mild Static Vacuum Cupping to the Thoraco-lumbar Fascia / Longissimus / Ilio-costalis / Lower to Upper Trapezius using 2 and 4 cups


10)          Practical Exercise 3: Mild Sliding Vacuum Cupping:To the Thoraco-lumbar Fascia / Longissimus / Ilio-costalis / Lower Trapezius

Instruction for the use of Sliding Cupping

How can the treatment be progressed?

What are the general cautionsto be Observed when using this MCV technique in an athletic context.

11)          Practical Exercise 4: The Application of Static Cupping, Sliding Cupping and Through-Range Cupping Techniques to the Hamstring Group: Biceps Femoris, Semi Membranosus & Tendinosis

12)          Practical Exercise 5: The Use of Vacuum Cupping with “Through Range” movement To the Upper Trapezius and Levator Scapula myofascia.

13)          Important points to Self Assess your Competency


The Use of 3 Additional Soft Tissue Treatment Tools in Clinical Practice

14)          Myofascial mobilisation with smooth-edge tools

Description of the technique:

Selection of appropriate patients for the technique. Contra-indications and Cautions

Gaining competency in this technique using the Specific Guidelines to Successfully Use Smooth-edged tools

Example 1. Treatment of Anterior and / or Lateral Compartment Syndrome of the Lower Leg

Cautions and Clinical Tips

Example 2. Treatment to the Tensor Fascia Lata / Ilio-Tibial Band / Vastus Lateralis & Rectus Femoris.

Indications for Treatment.

Haematoma of the Anterior or Lateral Thigh

Excessive Anterior Tilt of the Pelvis

Example 3. Treatment to Gastrocnemius and the Soleus myofascia

Example 4. Treatment to the Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis in relation to Lateral elbow pain using a smooth edged vacuum cup or porcelain saucer

15)          Myofascial mobilisation and de-activation of symptomatic points using “T” Bars or “Jacknobber” type treatment tools.

Description of the technique:

Clinical Tips and cautions

The important guidelines in relation to using T-Bar or “Jacknobber” type

Treatment option A: Digital Ischemic Pressure / Trigger point Treatment

Treatment option B: Friction Massage. What are the 9 Treatment principles if using the tool for Friction?

Contra-Indications to the Technique

16)          Myofascial mobilisation and de-activation of symptomatic points using Spikey balls as a Treatment tool.

Description of the technique:

Examples of presenting conditions

A. Posterior Hip Shortness

B. Posterior Hip Pain

C.  Hamstring Pain or Chronic tightness.

Correct Placement of the Balls in the Hip region

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