I decided to start the year out with a bang... or a cup. Last year I really loved some of the "New Year, New You" self-care practices I implemented in the month of January, so I was totally on board to do a repeat this year. Enter: Cupping. I've been completely amazed over the past couple of weeks at the visible signs of detox and healing.
I discovered a lovely practitioner of cupping, acupressure, and other holistic healing modalities around the stroke of 2018 via Groupon. I purchased one session for a super great deal, and ended up with a package of treatments before I left. She is INCREDIBLE. I've had cupping before that made me feel a noticeable boost of energy and just generally awesome, but this girl is next level. I had no idea that THIS was how cupping really should be.
After a holistic consultation, I was ushered into the heavenly-smelling treatment room and instructed to declothe from the waist up, and get comfy face down on the massage bed. The therapist then used an essential oil blend to prepare me for the suction cups!
Cupping is an ancient detoxification ritual based in Traditional Chinese Medicine, that uses set of (usually) glass cups suctioned on the (usually) back to massively increase circulation, stimulate or release muscle tension, and totally get things flowing. The cups can directly support nearby organs, but arguably help the entire body with the shift in circulation. I love to get cupping when I've been working out or doing lots of yoga, as my neck and shoulder blades hold a TON of tension. Also, if I've been sick with any respiratory or allergy-related symptoms, I find that I get an immune system boost from the treatment.
Here's the deal: you're going to have big, red hickies all over your treated area, so be prepared. They aren't bruises, and they don't really hurt, but it can feel like you've had a deep tissue massage or something. The areas that turn the most red are said to be the most in need of detoxification. Interesting.
One of the things that this particular practitioner includes in the cupping practice is actually working the cups around certain areas to further facilitate circulation and tension release. Other times when I've had cupping, it was pretty clinical... cups on, leave them for 15 minutes, cups off, goodbye. This is an entirely different experience, and it feels so much more personal.
Since I've been getting treatments on a pretty regular basis for the past 2 months, I've noticed so much more mobility in my normally achy shoulders and neck, and I just feel lighter and more clear. Of course, I'm not attributing that to cupping alone, but it definitely helps. Also, the treatment time itself is oh-so-pampering, just to go relax and get rubbed on for an hour with the candles, music, and essential oils. Self-care forever.