Tuesday, March 29, 2016

CUPPING: What even is it?


News flash! Traditional Chinese Medicine is cool. In fact, any traditional medicine east of the good ol' USA that uses ancient techniques to treat and prevent illness is pretty spectacular. We westerners are notorious for doing bad things to our bodies and running to our holy doctors to invade our organs and prescribe drugs to fix everything. There's no shame in living an unhealthy lifestyle (because YOLO) and our conventional medicine is nothing short of miraculous, especially when you really need it. But with that thought aside, what is America all about? Let's say it together! FREEDOM! Freedom of choice. We can chose to learn about different methods of medicine or stay safe (debatable) in our own little worlds. Most alternative medicine focuses on preventive measures. My choice is to use my Holistic Doctor (main squeeze) to maintain good health and treat minor problems and keep my Allopathic Doctor as my side lady in case I need surgery. I enjoy being a little sponge at every appointment and putting things in my bag of tricks so I can nerd out whenever I'm around someone whose feeling under the weather. Whatever you decide, you do you, boo. These blog posts are to give you ideas and show you that you have options and a lot of them are pretty rad.

CUPPING: The application of suction to the body. 

Warning: You will look like a pepperoni pizza. 

This type of therapy has been used by cultures for over 3500 years. The benefits of cupping are similar to those of massage only instead of pressing down on the skin and muscles, the suction pulls the skin up. There are many reasons why this is effective. First, it pulls blood to areas that do not have a lot of blood flow, such as knots and or damaged tissue. This creates a healing effect just as massaging out a knot would. Second, it pulls and stretches on the facia, a layer of tissue surrounding the muscle that often becomes tight and restricts range of motion. Cupping is also detoxifying and pulls nasty toxins out that NOBODY wants or needs. 

You may have heard through the grapevine that cupping can also help to reduce cellulite. The cups, again, bring blood flow to the area and break up fatty tissue (cellulite). The build up is moved to the lymph and pushed out of your system. 

The first time I experienced cupping, I left relaxed, more positive and free of pain. The tightness in one of my gluteal muscles felt like it was actually being pulled out! My massage therapist was able to work on other areas of my body while the cups were in place. Double the work in the same amount of time. Genius. I had cups on my back, glutes and arms. I left with a lot of little pepperoni marks and pep in my step. 

Curiosity and an open mind can lead you to experience things that can be really beneficial to your health and life. There are many modalities in the world of wellness that may seem strange or have little current scientific research to back them up. Please don't knock them for those reasons alone. In my line of work, I hear about many many success stories in alternative medicine and have my own success stories to tell. Don't knock it til' you try it and don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone!