I have a confession: Last September I got cupping for the first time and I am obsessed.
The idea behind cupping – an ancient Chinese alternative therapy – is to increase circulation, release muscle tension and pain, expel toxins, and even reduce anxiety, using suction from glass cups. While some think the whole practice is a bunch of bull, I have been thrilled with the results and look forward to each session. I should clarify that I have NEVER nor will I ever do the wet cupping where the skin is actually cut open (does anyone still do that?? That shit is CRAZY).
Don’t get me wrong…it hurts like a mother fucker (excuse my language…I honestly can’t think of a better way to explain the pain). The more sore your muscles are, the worse it hurts. The good news is that with each session, as the muscles continue to release, the pain lessens. That is UNLESS you decide to have cupping done on your ass and IT-bands as therapy for running soreness (I will spare you the photos) and then it hurts so badly every time that it takes your breath away. I am fully aware of the absurdity, but I KEEP DOING IT. The release of tension is so awesome that I keep going back for more.
Depending on the tight muscles or particular ailment, the cups are placed in various places. When I had a respiratory infection during a show, Sali (my life-changing massage therapist, reiki healer, and cupping therapist) put the cups over my lungs, among other places. Almost immediately, I noticed everything loosen up and I was able to expel all the yuck from my lungs (in hindsight, while good to get all this shit out, it is wildly unpleasant on stage in the middle of a scene when you have a coughing attack and cannot exit…live theater, people…).
As I reread this post, I assume I will never be hired by anyone to promote a cupping business. “Come try our cupping services: it hurts like hell and leaves you looking like someone tried to kill you with a toilet plunger.” Yeah…probably just blew my chance at that promotional gig.
Some people swear by acupuncture (I loved the 45 minutes alone in a quiet room with a guided meditation, but never got anything from the needles); some people love floating (I haven’t tried that because being sealed in a pitch black, silent pod is just not my cup of tea); some love good old massage therapy (I mean, who doesn’t?). For me, the combination of massage and cupping has been life changing – I LOVE IT – so I wanted to share it with you. Happy cupping!