When I was first diagnosed with my gluten intolerance and I was dealing with immune issues, I became a total believer in alternative practices. I mean, the doctor who first diagnosed me with my intolerances, and changed my life after 19 years of constant unexplained illnesses, was a chiropractor who specialized in homeopathic care. All the traditional doctors I was going to were loading me up with medication as a ‘remedy’!!
I often joke that I’ve done every weird, voo-doo type of wellness practice there is, and when new ones emerge, I try them, too! Of all of the practices and techniques I’ve done over the last nine years, the best I’ve ever felt was when I was doing acupuncture with a paleo diet. Acupuncture is a form of Chinese Medicine that involves stimulating specific points on the body by inserting thin needles into the skin. This allows for movement along our bodies meridians and clears blockages.
Introducing acupuncture’s older, more bad-ass sister, cupping. I’ve done cupping religiously now since August and absolutely love it. So what is it? “Cupping involves placing glass, bamboo or plastic jars on the skin and creating a vacuum by suctioning out the air.” (MindBodyGreen) Through suction, the underlying tissue is raised into the cup, increasing circulation. The suction also lifts stagnant toxins so your body can excrete them.
The misconception with cupping is that the circle marks you are left with at the end a) stay for a super long time and b) are a result of the suction. The outer circle, yes, is a result of the cups being circular, but the dark red marks that remain are static blood, lymph, toxins and more that have been moved from the deeper tissue layers to the surface.
Common Cupping questions:
- Do you actually feel a difference? And how can you tell? Yes. In the day following a cupping session it is important to drink a TON of water to move the toxins (that have now been pulled up and released into your system) out of your system. You may feel detox symptoms! These symptoms range from headaches and nausea to body aches. In the long-term, cupping improves joint and muscle pain, balances hormones, promotes relaxation, boosts skin health, and improves digestion! I mainly use cupping to balance my hormones, de-bloat, and help my digestion.
- Does it hurt? Nope! It feels a little itchy/tight for a minute or two and then I honestly feel so relaxed I can fall asleep!
- How long do the marks last? The darker the circle, the more blockage you have in the area. Also the darker your circles, the longer it takes to go away. My light colored circles are typically gone in 3 or so days, and the darker ones typically take 5-7 days!
*The first photo was taken after my first ever session! And the second photo shows my progress two months later after going 1-2x a week consistently!
The first picture in this post, with the heart-shaped marks (how cute is my acupuncturist?!) was taken just this week. I’ve been traveling and on the go non-stop since the holiday’s, and have been out of my weekly acupuncture/cupping routine… and clearly my body is feeling it! I’m back to my weekly visits, and I can’t wait to start feeling the benefits again!!
For acupuncture and cupping I go to Dr. Kara . Her office is in Beverly Hills, and not only is she a total acupuncture WIZARD but she is an AMAZING human being. I highly recommend seeing her!