What is cupping?

Cupping seems to be all the rage with athletes right now and for good reason, it works!  I have heard a lot of varying opinions since I first tried out cupping myself, some folks believe it’s a hoax and the benefit is just a placebo effect, others seem confused about it all together, some think it will be painful and others agree that it is absolutely fabulous.  In this post I hope to give you a clear and simple explanation of cupping so that you can go boldly forward to try it out for yourself!

Here we go….


The definition of cup·ping


noun: cupping

(in Chinese medicine) a therapy in which heated glass cups are applied to the skin along the meridians of the body, creating suction as a way of stimulating the flow of energy.

To add on to the dictionary definition cupping is used to stimulate blood flow, bring fresh blood to the area and increase healing. This means it is good for physical issues including injuries, muscle tension, pain, restricted movement and so much more!

Who can provide cupping treatments?

If you have a complimentary health care provider that you currently see my advice would be to check with them first for a recommendation.  If not you can visit us at Written on the Body!  Both Theresa and Richard offer cupping treatments in addition to Acupuncture to our clients.  Or you can seek out an acupuncturist, massage therapist or naturopathic physician who is trained in cupping.

What happens during a cupping treatment?

After a thorough intake with your practitioner they will have you disrobe the affected area.  Some practitioners might use a tiny amount of oil to prepare your skin for the cupping procedure.  There are different types of cupping, some use glass cups and fire to create suction and others use plastic cups that have tiny built in pumps to draw the air out.  Whichever type of cups used you will feel the flesh being sucked up into the cups, typically this is not painful but depending on your specific issue it can become a little more intense.  If it is too uncomfortable you can always let your practitioner know so that they can release some of the suction.  Some therapists will let the cups sit for a time (seconds to a few minutes) and others will move the cups around similar to a massaging motion.

What happens after a cupping treatment?

After your practitioner removes the cups you may feel some tenderness in the area but it typically fades within 24 hours, you may also feel more tired than usual as your body works hard to heal itself.  You will most likely have deep red or purple marks where the cups have been placed but they do not feel painful.  These marks are caused by stagnant blood and toxins coming to the surface and will fade within a week or so.  You will probably feel better!  You might notice more freedom and less pain in the areas that have been cupped.  If you get regular treatments and have a good self care routine you may even make a full recovery from injuries or other chronic issues.

Cupping in the news:

The Portland Trail Blazers added cupping into their injury prevention and recovery routines:


Floyd Mayweather recently got cupping:



Cupping is an ancient healing practice and this blog post is just a short adventure into what it is all about.  To really understand it you will need to experience it and learn about the philosophies surrounding traditional Chinese medicine.

Have more questions?  Leave them in the comments or email us at wonthebody@gmail.com.  Thanks for reading and we look forward to working with you soon!  Book online today.

What is acupuncture?

What is Acupuncture?

what is acupuncture

Here is a short list to help you understand what acupuncture is:

  • An important component of traditional Chinese Medicine

  • An ancient healing tradition that is at least 2500 years old

  • A technique that uses thin needles that are inserted into specific points on the body to help bring the qi (flow of energy or life force) into balance, the balance of qi is believed to be essential for health in traditional Chinese Medicine

AND what it is good for:

  • Pain of all sorts!  Acupuncture results vary depending on the person and situation (just like any form of medicine) but it is a safe addition to or alternative to any western treatment

  • Nausea

  • Fertility

  • Increasing circulation and a general sense of ease and well-being

  • Injuries

  • Quitting habits

  • Stage fright! Who knew?

  • And so much more!  If you have an issue or a goal the chances are very good that your acupuncturist can help you.

Still have questions?  Ask away in the comments section or contact us directly!  Ready to book?  Let’s do it-click HERE now

Acupuncture for pain and stress

Acupuncture can benefit many types of ailments especially pain and stress!


acupuncture for pain

Acupuncture stimulates the body’s built-in healing mechanisms

Acupuncture “focuses body’s attention” to the injured area and in turn it stimulates the body’s ability to spontaneously heal injuries. As the body focuses on the the micro traumas induced by acupuncture, it also heals any surrounding tissue damage left over from old injuries.

 Acupuncture releases natural painkillers

Inserting a needle sends a signal through the nervous system to the brain, where chemicals such as endorphins, norepinephrine and enkephalin are released. Some of these substances are 10-200 times more potent than morphine!

Acupuncture reduces both the intensity and perception of chronic pain

It does this through a process called “descending control normalization”, which involves the serotonergic nervous system.

 Acupuncture relaxes shortened muscles

This in turn releases pressure on joint structures and nerves, and promotes blood flow.

Acupuncture reduces stress

This is perhaps the most important systemic effect of acupuncture.
Recent research suggests that acupuncture stimulates the release of oxytocin, a hormone and signaling substance that regulates the parasympathetic nervous system. You’ve probably heard of the “fight-or-flight” response that is governed by the sympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system has been called the “rest-and-digest” or “calm-and-connect” system, and in many ways is the opposite of the sympathetic system. Recent research has implicated impaired parasympathetic function in a wide range of autoimmune diseases, including arthritis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.

by Joy Earl, LAc


Joy Earl, LAc

Choose acupuncture for pain and stress and book your appointment with Joy today and learn about the benefits of acupuncture first hand!