I have been wanting to try cupping FOREVER. Not like Michael-Phelps-2016-Olympics forever. I’m talking Gwyneth-Paltrow-walking-down-the-red-carpet-with curious-looking-spots-on-her-back-in-2004 FOREVER.

I’ve always been interested in learning more about my body and the way it works. Fun fact: I actually majored in Biology in college.

When my homegirl Leah Chavie mentioned she was adding cupping and acupuncture to her holistic approach to skincare and beauty, I scheduled my appointment immediately.

So it’s 11 AM on a Wednesday afternoon and I’m walking into my treatment with butterflies in my stomach like it’s a first date. Don’t ask my why I was so nervous because the process was beyond painless (before, during and after) and borderline euphoric. As I texted a friend afterwards “I am so relaxed, I feel like I am on another planet.”

After my treatment I sat down with Suzie, the practitioner who has her master’s in Traditional Oriental Medicine, so that I could bring you guys ALL the details on cupping.

First up: What exactly is cupping?

Cupping is a holistic and ancient medical therapy which involves the use of a glass cup that is heated and suctioned to the skin and tissue, stimulating blood flow to that particular area.

What are the benefits of cupping?

  • Remove toxins from the body
  • Stimulate the flow of fresh blood and lymph throughout the body
  • Helps with pain & inflammation
  • Can help with flu, colds, coughs, back and muscle pain, poor circulation, anxiety, allergies, fevers, aches and more.

What does cupping feel like? Does it Hurt?

The best way to describe it is that it feels like a massage in reverse.  Instead of a therapist pushing down/kneading your muscles, the cups create a vacuum that suctions your skin and tissue partway UP into the cup.

Cupping does not hurt AT ALL. You first feel a tight sensation when the cup is heated and placed on your back but it’s SUPER relaxing and soothing.

What’s the deal with the marks?

Cupping causes the skin to temporarily turn red, blue or purple, especially if there is an injury or energetic blockage under the area that was cupped. The skin discoloration can last anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. What up #circlehickeys

The difference between these marks and brusies are they they DO NOT hurt when you press on them.

How often should you get cupping? 

You can get cupping as often as every other week and generally you want to make sure your cupping marks have faded before you go in for another session. I personally plan on getting cupping done monthly.

I had glass cupping done on my back and then Suzie performed “moving cupping” on my neck since I had strained it a day prior. She first applied coconut oil to my skin and then used a plastic cup to slide and suction across my neck. It felt like a really awesome deep tissue massage. Afterwards the soreness in my neck decreased by 80% and the next day I was good as new! What’s SO fascinating is that the area where I had the injury on my neck turned completely red/purple which shows how stagnant the blood was in this area! It’s incredible that she was able to heal my injury, get the blow flowing and remove energy blockages holistically!

Bottom line: I highly recommend this treatment for healing and relaxation! Will 2017 be the year you try cupping?