As most have, i also experienced the big black and blue pelvic brusies and achey hip joints during my initial hooping days. My successful hoop injury remedies have included: rest, ice, gentle self massage using arnica oil, homeopathic arnica montana gel, tiger balm, visualizing luminous healing energy on painful area while consciously breathing.
Over time, I found that I developed a better sense of where the hoop contacts my body and a more serpentine way of meeting the hoop which requires less impact … blindfolded hooping is a good way to develop this kinesthetic intelligence.
Perhaps most important for me, I brought my hoop in to a chiropractic appointment after I experienced a hip injury (he also happens to be a yoga instructor and core fitness instructor). I showed him the motions which caused pain and he was able to observe that I was not moving from my center…. the particular move was a leg lift and he showed me that I threw my whole body off balance and lifted my leg at an odd angle which put undue strain on certain muscles. He was then able to prescribe gentle exercises to help me develop more balance as well as give me an adjustment and make sure my hooping direction wasn’t aggravating the problem.
Bi-directional hooping helps a lot. Practice touching the hoop on your stomach when it comes around. This is to develop your timing. Then, when it is touching your back (directly opposite of the pat exercise), try using the far hand (left for CCW, right for CW) to smack the hoop the other direction. It takes a little bit of practice to keep the hoop from coming off it’s axis of rotation, but if you keep the motion of your hand in the plane of rotation it’s easier than it looks.