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Cupping, an ancient Chinese medicine treatment, is all the rage with celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Victoria Beckham, and Jennifer Aniston, who proudly display their cupping marks like the latest “it” accessory while walking the red carpet.


{Jennifer Aniston and her cupping marks. Photo credit eonline.com.}

When I learned that cupping was great for detoxification, I couldn’t wait to try it. And after one, amazing but not so glamorous session, I’m here to tell you that cupping isn’t just for celebrities.

What is Cupping?

A cupping treatment begins by taking your clothes off and lying face down on a massage table. A varying number of cups, usually made of glass or medical grade silicone, are strategically placed on the back depending on the ailment.


{Photo credit istock.com}

Once the cups are in place, an electric pump (or sometimes heat) is used to create a vacuum inside the cups. This suction causes your skin to balloon into the cups and blood to rush to the surface of your skin. The bit of created pressure feels surprisingly relaxing.


{Photo credit spryliving.com.}

How Does Cupping Work?

According to Chinese medicine, there are five energy meridians on the back. Similar to acupuncture, cupping experts believe that unblocking these meridians allows the life force (the qi) to flow freely through the body, remove toxins, and promote healing.

The suction created in the cups can affect muscle tissue four inches deep into the body. This significantly increases blood flow, and as a result, pulls toxins from where they may have been stored, such as the muscles and fat cells. Once the toxins are released into the blood, they are able to be flushed out of the system through sweat and urination.

What Are the Benefits of Cupping?

In addition to detoxing your body by releasing stored toxins, cupping also:

  • Reduces stress
  • Soothes cranky, tight muscles similar to an intense deep tissue massage
  • Promotes a sense of relaxation throughout the body
  • Treats allergies, arthritis, back pain, and the common cold
  • Reduces acne
  • Helps nerve damaged areas
  • Improves energy levels
  • Offers digestive aid
  • And a celebrity bonus tip? Cupping can be used to reduce cellulite!

I left my cups on for forty minutes. For the most part, the treatment was relaxing. In only the last ten minutes was it uncomfortable. Afterward, I was the most physically relaxed I have ever felt. I had the after-glow of a massage multiplied by twenty, making the treatment well worth the $100.

I also noticed that the whites of my eyes were brighter and my complexion was clearer. I drank lots of water for the rest of the day, expelled some toxins, and enjoyed my sense of zen. With each passing day, I felt better and better. I slept sounder at night and felt more energized during the day.

Cupping marks or bruises can last one to two weeks. So, a few days after my treatment, my cupping marks are still visible. My husband’s high school reunion is this weekend. There may be no red carpet, but move over Jen and Gwyneth…

…I’ll be showing off my cupping marks in a little strapless dress.



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