For as long as I can remember, I’ve carried tension in my back and shoulders, so much so that I cringe at the thought of a heavy-handed massage. On the rare occasion that I do go for a massage, I request light pressure. I’m also no stranger to tension headaches – which is what leads me to cupping.
It’s believed that the Egyptians invented cupping therapy, and it’s used as part of various holistic treatments in Asia. A glass or silicone cup creates a vacuum over the skin, drawing it up into the cup. Cups can be placed all over the body, including the legs, shoulders and back.
The treatment is meant to ease back and shoulder pain (yes, please) and I’d heard that it had many other benefits too: reducing cellulite, relieving anxiety and boosting circulation. I was intrigued, a little nervous and, of course, excited to see if it would work.
He does ‘acu-cupping’, which combines dry needling (strategically placed acupuncture needles) with sliding dry cupping – the cups are moved around without breaking contact with the skin.
‘The rubber applicator sucks out the oxygen and creates negative pressure within the cup (the inverse of a massage), drawing blood to the area,’ the doc explained. ‘You get different degrees of suction when you release the plastic valve. I work in four stages: 25% (for those who are very sensitive), 50%, 75% and 100%. At 100%, you’ll notice the skin getting re