Sports and Remedial massage, Dry needling and Cupping

Published: 23 August, 2016

Gemma is our qualified sports and remedial massage therapist. She has been working here at In Harmony since November 2015 and has brought with her some unique techniques that have been invaluable for our clients and even ourselves. As well as sports massage she occasionally includes cupping and dry needling into her treatments with excellent results, not just in sports people, but anyone with aches, pains or injuries.

Sports and remedial massage

Sports and remedial massage uses a wide range of techniques including deep tissue massage, trigger point therapy, stretching exercises and rehabilitation exercises to manipulate the soft tissues of the body. The aim is to relieve pain, reduce strain and discomfort and assist a greater range of movement.

Electro dry needling

Dry needling is a type of acupuncture designed to release knots and tight areas of the muscle. The acupuncture needles are inserted into the tissues and manipulated gently. The needle creates a tiny injury or trauma in the area, causing the body to send injury healing signals in the brain to repair damaged tissue. With electro needling a wire is then clipped onto the needle and a ripple of current is sent through it to the muscle tissue, helping break down the tight fibres. This technique is extremely good for sciatic, lower back pain, knots in shoulders and necks. Most patients do not feel the insertion of the needle, however may feel a ‘twitch’ response in the muscle. Once this has occurred, the muscle then relaxes, inflammation is reduced and circulation is improved.


Cupping is a technique that is becoming more and more popular, especially in sports people. You may have noticed during the Olympics, dark circular bruises on the athletes shoulders and backs. This is an after-effect of cupping. It works by creating a vacuum over the target area, drawing up the skin through cups using a pump. The cup stays in place for up to fifteen minutes. Blood is drawn to the area and new blood cells are formed, which then send oxygen and nutrients to the area to enable healing and stretching of the fascia and connective tissues. Many say that cupping works faster and lasts longer than the effects of massage, and therefore is a fantastic treatment for chronic aches and pains.

Dark circles may appear where the cups were placed because of rupture of the capillaries just under the skin, but are not the same as a bruise caused by blunt-force trauma. These marks will not be painful. The deposits dissipate from a few hours up to several weeks, depending on the amount of stagnation and the patients post treatment activities. Cupping is also a great detox for the body. It helps the body recover from colds, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, and generally feeling rundown.

The combination of all three techniques provides fantastic results to ease any aches and pains whether you’re a seasoned athlete or an office worker. Gemma recommends beginning with an 80min treatment to carry out an initial body assessment.