Along with working out and eating healthy, it’s also so important to focus on taking time to let your body recover and rest. Last week I had shared on Instagram Stories a photo of my back after I received cupping and received so many questions about my experience. As someone who is struggled with back pain for many years, cupping has been such a relief for me and I wanted to share some of the questions you asked and my experience to hopefully help anyone with the same issues!
What is cupping? Cupping is a form of Chinese medicine that uses suction cups (sometimes heated) to help decompress tight muscles, tendons and fascia which allows fresh blood and oxygen to flow freely and release tight, compressed, painful tissue.
What does it help with? Along with tight muscles and tension, cupping is also known to decrease inflammation and encourages faster and more complete healing. Cupping can also help calming the nervous system, so if you are struggling with anxiety, migraines and sleeping – this may help! For me, my biggest issue was lower back pain
What about those marks?! How long do they last? Cupping became more well-known thanks to athletes and celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow showing off the dark circular marks on their backs. While they may look painful, the marks aren’t painful at all! During the application you will feel tightness in the beginning, which will slowly begin to decrease. The marks will be pretty swollen right after and then they will begin to show more color throughout the first 24 hours. The darker the area is where you are holding more tension or toxins, which you can easily see in my neck and lower back. Each day the marks will fade and by day 5 or 6, you can barely see them!
Where do you go and how long does it take? I was recommended City Acupuncture here in the city by a few girls at work and have loved going there thanks to the location and how easily I can book an appointment=t that day. The appointment only costs $30 as well which I think is a great price compared to most places. It is definitely no frills as you are an open room (separated by dividers) but the staff is great and the whole experience is relaxing. The actual cupping varies per person but I usually receive 10 minutes on my shoulders, neck and upper back and then switch for 10 minutes on my lower back.
Would you recommend it to anyone? We all hold tension, especially in our neck and shoulders, so I would definitely recommend trying cupping at least once to see how you feel. For me, cupping has made such a difference in my chronic lower back and neck pain and my goal is to go between once and twice a month. Taking care of your bodies before pain can get worst is key and its ok to rest and let your bodies recover!
Have you tried cupping before? Would love to know your thoughts as well!