What do I have in common with Michael Phelps, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Jennifer Anniston?

Fame?  Money?  Huge social media followings?  Well, ahem, no, not exactly.

It’s cupping!  We all share a love of cupping.

Athletes, celebrities, busy moms, and others are increasingly discovering the benefits of this ancient medicinal practice.

Athletes use cupping to speed recovery and improve performance.   Silicon Valley professionals use it to relieve tired backs after sitting at desks 10+ hours a day staring at their computers.  Busy moms and dads use it to relieve the stress of the daily multi-tasking, taxi-driving, problem-solving, organizing and scheduling.  Your neighbor might use it to help reduce headaches.

What is cupping? 

Cupping therapy involves creating suction within glass cups applied to the skin to create a pressure which sucks your skin into the cup.  Blood surges to the area under the cup, bringing all of the oxygen and nutrients with it. 

What does it feel like?

I’ll admit, especially the first time, it’s a strange experience.  Remember putting the vacuum cleaner to your (or your siblings!) skin when you were a kid?  Yeah, well, it’s nothing like that.  There is a thick pinch as the cup is placed, but generally the sensation changes into a pressure and then fades over the few minutes of the treatment.  

What’s up with the bruising?

Cupping will most likely leave big round bruises on your skin.  The color of the bruises will vary from person to person anywhere from a light pink to deep purple.  Just like any bruise, these marks usually last for a few days. 

And this is awesome why?

Most people feel an immediate release of tension and others feel stronger and stronger benefits over time.  The most obvious result is circulation to the area being cupped.  With increased blood flow to the targeted areas come higher levels of oxygen, nutrients and white blood cells.  This promotes improved functioning and healing.  The increased blood flow can relieve muscle tension, improve circulation and reduce inflammation.  I personally enjoy doubling up on benefits by getting a cupping right after acupuncture, but either can be helpful on its own. 

Is there anyone who should avoid cupping?

If you are on blood thinners, have trouble with bleeding or clotting, or you have an open wound you’ll want to avoid cupping.

If you have any questions, feel free to give me a call or schedule a free 10 minute consultation.

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