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.

Should I get a massage?

should I get massage?

Have you ever thought to yourself “Should I get a massage?” If so then this post is for you!

If you are experiencing any of the following issues then massage is definitely right for you:

  • First and most important is that you enjoy being touched and find it comforting

  • If you have a serious medical condition or specific concern surrounding massage you should get clearance from your doctor before making an appointment

  • You live a high stress lifestyle and have limited time for yourself-massage can be a great way to reward yourself for working so hard and can help you feel renewed after giving so much to your job/family/friends/business etc…

  • You experience chronic pain-often times people believe they have to live with pain but this is not always the case!  Regular massage treatments can help relieve or at the very least lessen chronic pain cycles.

  • You have tension headaches-massage can help loosen the muscles of the head neck and jaw to help you find release from the tension that causes headaches

  • You have a difficult time relaxing or shutting off your mind-massage, especially certain types of massage such as Thai and hot stone can be very effective in helping you wind down and find inner peace.

  • You are prone to injury involving pulled muscles and tears-massage truly can help unravel those long time patters of muscle tightness that eventually leads to injury.  It is no magic pill but with regular treatments and a good self care routine you will find that you can become more balanced.

These are just a few of the reasons massage might be a good fit for you!  If you have questions about your particular situation please feel free to drop me a line via email at wonthebody@gmail.com.  I will look forward to hearing from you!  Ready to book?  Head to our online booking site and set your appointment today:  Written on the Body Massage and Acupuncture Studio

Can massage help my posture?

Yes! Massage can help improve your posture read on to find out how…

We are sitting more than ever before with long hours at the computer, commuting, watching TV and it is affecting the way our body is aligned.  Our shoulders and neck are pulled forward due to tight, shortened pectorals (chest), scalene’s and my favorite named muscle the sternocleidomastoid (front of neck).  Our pelvis’s are out of whack from weakened abdominal muscles, shortened hip flexors and more.  While we are busy slumping and slouching from sitting waaayyyy more than our bodies were intended to we need our grandmother’s in our ears to nag us to take breaks, pull our shoulders back and down and stand up straight, for goodness sakes!


How can massage help you achieve your goal of beautiful straight posture?  Here is the short list of what we can help you accomplish:

  • Almost every Massage Therapist I know pays attention to posture all the time.  We can’t help it!  Even when I am out and about I am noticing other people’s posture and thinking of ways that I could help return them to a balanced frame.  If you are working towards correcting your posture you should talk to your Massage Therapist about your goals, they will most likely have some insight on where they notice imbalances and what type of treatment plan could work for you.
  • Massage therapy helps to ease the tension in tight muscles caused by postural imbalances, for instance I mentioned the forward body posture above often caused by long hours at the computer which can cause arm, hand, neck and upper back pain.  Targeting specific muscle groups such as the pecs and the muscles on the front of the neck can help lengthen them allow the body to find the space to realign itself into the proper position.  This applies to other areas as well such as releasing the hip flexors for the low back to help relieve pain in this area.
  • Massage relaxes you, improves your circulation, helps eradicate stress and is one of the best pain relievers out there.  Many of the unhealthy patterns our body creates are caused by stress tension and pain which means getting regular massage is a key ingredient to letting go of those things that are having ill effects on your posture.

I would never try to mislead you into believing that massage is a miracle cure, that you won’t have to work hard to return to a healthy posture or that massage will be the only tool you might need.  However I do believe that regular massage is an important (and hopefully really lovely) piece of the amazing posture puzzle.  Don’t take my word for it Book Your Massage Today!

Join our monthly mailing list to learn all about us, the ways massage and acupuncture can save your life and so much more! Scan our QR code to join:  posture qr code


3 ways to live a healthier and happier life in 2014

3 ways to live a healthier and happier life in 2014

I always slack a little on most of my routines (outside of hammock laying and beach going) through the Summer, we get such a short visit from the sun here in Portland that I feel justified in my laziness.  But It’s back to school time here in Oregon and I know that, like myself, many of you parents out there are ready to get back to the grind.  When the kids go back to school it becomes easier for us to get back on top of work, exercise, healthy eating habits and in general taking care of ourselves.  If you want to make a huge positive impact on your health and happiness you should try adding regular massage into your self care routine, you won’t believe what a difference it will make!  Still not sure?  Check out these great facts about the many ways regular massage can improve your overall well-being:

Find Relief from pain:

Millions of Americans suffer from pain and back pain seems to be the leader of the pack, in fact, low back pain is one of the most common reasons for missing work.   In fact, back pain is one of the most listed reasons for visits to the doctor’s office.  Treat low back pain with a combination of stretching, exercises and getting regular massage, acupuncture and/or chiropractic care.  It is important to remember that surgery or pharmaceuticals are not the only option for finding freedom from pain.  Many times with a little energy and regular self care you can live a happier and healthier life without the extra side effects that come with invasive surgery or drugs.healthier and happier life

Free yourself from Stress and Anxiety:

The world is always changing, moving more quickly, raising it’s expectations-heaping more and more onto our plates.  It is no wonder that many Americans are frequently suffering from bouts of depression, anxiety and insomnia.  Stress is a killer and if left unregulated it can cause all sorts of issues in the body.  Dr. Sheldon Cohen discovered in a 2012 study that “When under stress, cells of the immune system are unable to respond to hormonal control, and consequently, produce levels of inflammation that promote disease. Because inflammation plays a role in many diseases such as cardiovascular, asthma and autoimmune disorders, this model suggests why stress impacts them as well.”  Help yourself regulate stress hormones with massage.  Regular massage reduces the hormone cortisol in your body, and give the happiness inducing neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine a boost.  Check out our buy 3 get 1 free massage packages and $55 monthly membership to get yourself on the path to freedom from stress today!

Look better, feel better and have more energy:

Speaking of stress, we all know it takes a toll on our energy levels as well as our appearance.  Weight gain or loss, dark bags under our eyes, dull skin and exhaustion are all common side effects of stress.  Massage can help these too by reducing stress levels and helping to boost your bodies natural healing abilities.  Massage also improves circulation and skin tone to promote that beautiful healthy glow we are all striving to achieve.    Learn more about the ways massage can help you feel and look better in this great article:  The amazing ways massage can help you look prettier

Living a healthier and happier life is contingent on a healthy routine including exercise, diet and self care.  Dedicate yourself to this cause-you are worth it!

Natural remedies for Neck Pain

Massage and Acupuncture are natural remedies for Neck pain

Neck pain is very common in our culture and there are many different reason’s a person can experience neck pain.  Some of these include poor posture, unhealthy holding patterns created by repetitive motion or overuse, injuries, structural issues and changes are just a few.  Neck pain can be very disruptive to a person’s everyday routine especially sleep patterns and regular work, when your body is chronically experiencing pain you are unable to function optimally.  This in addition to the possibility of permanent disability and severe injury are important reasons to address neck pain as early and aggressively as possible.  Here are some of the ways massage and acupuncture can help:

Acupuncture for neck pain:

acupuncture for neck pain

  • Can reduce spasms and lesson pain

  • Acupuncture can reduce inflammation and even obliterate it with regular treatments

  • Acupuncture promotes better blood flow through treated areas which promotes healing

  • Releases endorphins changing the way the brain and spinal cord perceives pain

  • Acupuncture addresses underlying issues such as stagnant energy, holding patterns, stress and other problems that are at the root of your neck pain

  • Cupping helps relax and break up stuck fascia and scar tissue freeing your body to move more efficiently

Massage for neck pain:

massage for neck pain

  • Increases blood flow which promotes healing

  • Decreases tension in muscles

  • Increases endorphin’s

  • Calms the body releasing tension all over the body rather than just in the select concentrated areas

  • Regular massage can help lengthen muscles that are shortened allowing your posture to correct itself

Consider massage and acupuncture as part of your health care plan, you are important and taking good care of your body is essential to living a long, healthy and happy life.  Check out our packages and memberships for affordable options in getting the treatment you need to become free of pain!

Affordable massage for Portland, OR!

Do you need a massage but can’t figure out how to fit it into your budget?

Check out our affordable massage opportunities for a sliding scale option to get the relief your body and mind are longing for.  These opportunities are limited and will be given on a qualified and first come/first served basis so don’t wait,  Apply today!

To qualify please use the following worksheet guidelines (you may email us for a copy of the worksheet to download if you prefer at wonthebody@gmail.com): sliding_scale_income_worksheet
once you have determined the category you qualify for you may be offered the following pricing options for sliding scale massage:

  • A.  $40 per one hour Peace Massage

  • B.  $45 per one hour Peace Massage

  • C.  $55 per one hour Peace Massage

  • D.  $60 per one hour Peace Massage

  • E.  Full Price

*These sliding scale massage appointments are limited and are given on a first come first serve basis.  Please send the completed sliding scale form and  supporting income documents to wonthebody@gmail.com.  We will notify you within 7 business days if you have been approved and the timeline/therapist available for you to book within.  We retain full rights to ask you for updated information and to alter your fee and booking/therapist schedule at any time.  If we choose to do so we will notify you via email.  Our regular cancellation policy applies to all sliding scale appointments.

If you don’t qualify for our sliding scale massage opportunities we have many other ways to get regular massage on a budget!  Check out our VIP Membership starting as low as $55 per month or our Buy 3 get 1 Free Packages Here.

Whichever way you go we hope to see you soon!  Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day!

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have”-Eckhart Tolle

I normally steer clear of sharing too much of my personal life online but today I feel compelled and perhaps it is just the only thing one can do when they are facing the grief of losing a loved one.  This post is to honor my ancestors who have passed and to remind us all that this life is short and is meant to be lived in love and gratitude.  The catalyst for this post is the passing of a wonderful woman, my aunt, Rest In Peace Aunt Kathy-thank you for your love, even from afar.

We all know that death is a part of this life and at some point we will each most likely experience the devastation that comes with the loss of a loved one no matter how unexpected, expected or planned for.  Today my family grieves the loss of yet another of our matriarchs, another rock that holds our walls in place.  It is so strange and amazing what times like this do to our lives: we begin to remember that this life is not forever, how important our friends and family really are, the things we have and have not said, the places that we have given forgiveness and the others that we have not, our priorities shift suddenly and every moment seems more drawn out.

I remember the first time I experienced this phenomenon, though I had known death long before this incident, it was in high school that I first understood it’s impact.  An acquaintance of mine, but close friend of my close friends committed suicide and although I did not know her well I was impacted by the way the world felt different with her absence.  I recall thinking to myself how the grass, air, sun, morning dew and just everything seemed different somehow.  The revelation that the world keeps moving despite this great loss was almost too much for my young brain to comprehend.  I have since lost many incredible people in my life and every time I am in awe of learning the same lessons again.  Each time I do my best to remind myself  to continue to give each moment that same weight but somehow that knowing slowly fades.   I see now that this is one of life’s big challenges:  to learn how to be truly present in each moment.

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have”-Eckhart Tolle

I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank my ancestors that have passed, in particular my Dad, Grandmother, Grandfather, Uncle and Aunt for giving me so much:  My eyes, my smile, my laugh, my ability to recognize the importance of family, the great joy of being silly and taking things in stride, my ability to adapt, my sincerity, my generosity, my love of the outdoors, my strength, my vulnerability, my spirit, my love of life, my adventurousness and so much more.  I absolutely would not be who I am today without each of your contributions to my life.  Thank you also for your influence on all those that are still enjoying this lifetime-my family, cousins, mom, siblings, niece and nephews.  To all of you: no matter how often we see each other your presence on this planet makes my universe more rich.  I hold a sacred space for you right now as we see this lovely lady off to join the ranks of greatness that await her.

I share this because I know many of you can relate, in my personal list of clients alone there are many whom have shared with me their sadness of loss whether it be recent or long ago.  This type of weary grief sticks to you, often finding a place in your body, mind and spirit to lay it’s heavy head.  By loving ourselves and sharing our experiences we make space for healing and though we may always carry some of the pain of missing our loved ones we must do what we know would make them happiest-Live without limits and celebrate the goodness of their lives.

massage for grief

Here are some tips and resources for you if you are experiencing the massive grief of losing someone you love:

  • Refuge by Terry Tempest Williams-A book that I have read many times and never fails to make me laugh and cry, it deals with the issues of death and dying entwined with a beautiful story of the author’s life.

  • Hospice on bereavement-My dad was in hospice before he passed and I found their literature to be very comforting. It helped me to recognize the stages of my own grief as well as my families.

  • Some of my personal takes on the bereavement experience:  remember that you probably won’t be yourself for a while and that there are many stages of grief that can last for quite some time.  Cut yourself some slack, rest, remember to eat,  spend time alone but don’t isolate yourself from your support network.  Don’t sabotage yourself-ask for/allow for help when you need it.  Don’t make decisions too hastily, rely on someone that you trust who is less affected by the death to help you with important matters.

  • Take care of yourself in whatever ways work for you.  Stress and grief are hard on your mind and body which means you need to take extra good care of yourself during this time.  Eating healthy, drinking water, exercising and doing your best to get enough sleep are the first steps in keeping your energy up for what lies ahead.  Body work such as massage, acupuncture, energy work etc… can be very healing during times of loss because they allow you a safe space to be quiet but not alone.  Body work also helps with releasing endorphin’s, reducing the stress hormone cortisol, improving circulation and promoting restorative sleep.

People deal with death in many different ways and you have to find what works for you to make it through the process without self destructing, most importantly remember that it does get easier and you will find happiness again.  Above all love up the people close to you and live a full and joyful life!  Thank you for taking the time to read this post and feel free to share your tips for surviving the grief process as well as the stories of your loved ones who have passed with us.  I send each of you my sincere love and gratitude and hope you know that whatever role you play at WOTB is significant and wonderful. Have a beautiful sunny day!


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!

Monthly Community Wellness classes begin this Thursday

We are now offering monthly wellness classes on the rooftop deck!

This months class is all about learning how acupuncture can ease your pain and it includes a free cupping demonstration


Why Acupuncture is so great for pain: The rivers of your body

Acupuncture is all over the news lately, everyone is talking about how great it is for pain. Shoulder, knee, back, hip…so long as you have pain, acupuncture is the natural alternative to harsh medications. But why? Have you ever wondered why acupuncture works? How the parasympathetic nervous system is your best friend and your body can, with a little help from acupuncture release the best pain killers around. This is your opportunity to learn how Chinese medicine and your health are mirrored in nature. When you see how the flow of energy or Qi in your body is just like a river, you will soon understand why acupuncture has so much to offer on your path to getting pain free!
Why not join us Thurs June 5th for a fun and interactive talk on Acupuncture and pain free living!!

Join us on Written on the Body’s rooftop deck on  Thursday June 5th from 6:30-7:30pm

Cost: Free!

Please Register HERE now-space is limited

Rooftop Massage

Rooftop Massage: we challenge you to Find Peace

…If only for an hour

rooftop massage


Close your eyes and imagine yourself under a clear blue sky, the wind is lightly blowing, rustling the leaves of a nearby bamboo tree.  You are completely relaxed, your mind is a bird floating through the sky, the tension you have been holding in your muscles melts away.

You are finding freedom in your body and mind in the comfort of a massage table. You are on a rooftop deck under the canopy of a wooden pergola with flowing white curtains.  You have been warmed by an infrared sauna and your mind slowly drifts to the hammock you will enjoy at the end of your treatment.

There is nothing that can shake you, you are in a world of your own choosing.

We challenge you to enjoy peace through massage in Written on the Body’s Rooftop Relaxation area.

Book online today