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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award

Fall 2019

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Department or Program Affiliation

Kinesiology- Exercise Science

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Health and Human Development

First Advisor

Brilla, Lorraine R., 1955-

Second Advisor

Suprak, David N. (David Nathan)

Third Advisor

Watson, Carolyn F.


The objective of this study was to elucidate the effects of myofascial decompression through cupping therapy (CT) on running economy (RE) in well-trained runners. Five minutes of CT or placebo gel (PG) was applied to bilateral hip extensor muscles of 15 well-trained runners (n = 7 female, n = 8 male) after a 10-minute treadmill warm-up. Running economy was measured using two 6-minute steady-state treadmill runs, one at a standardized velocity (females = 3.93 m·s-1; males = 4.47 m·s-1) and the other at 10-km race velocity. Maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max) test followed the RE tests. All subjects performed both conditions in randomized order. Running economy, respiratory exchange ratio (RER) during steady-state, and VO2 max after CT and PG were compared independently using paired two-sample t-tests. Effect size for all variables was calculated using Cohen’s d. There was no difference in RE expressed as %VO2 max between CT and PG (standard = 76.9 ± 10.6% of VO2 max vs. 76.6 ± 10.5% of VO2 max, p = 0.72, d = 0.02; 10-km = 84.2 ± 7.2% of VO2 max vs. 83.7 ± 6.9% of VO2 max, p = 0.17, d = 0.07). There was also no difference in VO2 max between CT and PG (65.1 ± 9.1 vs. 65.0 ± 10.3, p = 0.96, d = 0.004); however, RER was significantly increased by CT compared to gel (standard = 0.92 ± 0.06 vs. 0.90 ± 0.04, p = 0.04, d = 0.32; 10-km = 0.94 ± 0.04 vs. 0.92 ± 0.03, p = 0.02, d = 0.52). Acute CT increases steady-state carbon dioxide expiration in well-trained runners without changing oxygen consumption. This has implications for enhanced buffering from putative increased localized blood.




cupping, oxygen consumption, running economy


Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Running--Physiological aspects--Testing; Oxygen--Measurement; Oxygen consumption (Physiology); Cupping--Therapeutic use--Effectiveness; Maximal oxygen uptake--Testing




masters theses




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