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.

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

Structural integration with Bethany Carder, LMT

Welcome Bethany Carder to the team!


Our newest massage therapist Bethany Carder’s signature therapy blends the healing benefits of aromatherapy, structural integration, stretching, and reflexology creating a massage session that eases tension in muscle tissue, while calming the mind and bringing the body back into balance. Her work tends to draw clients focused on work in their upper body, hips and feet. Though she will tailor each session to each individual clients needs.


structural integration

All About Bethany:

Bethany originally came from central Arkansas and grew up traveling the country with her family and

friends. She attended Nevada School of Massage Therapy in Las Vegas in 2008. Bethany has a passion

for learning and adores sharing the journey of healing with her clients, helping bring awareness

to their bodies and seeing them find ease and comfort through times of great pain is rewarding

beyond words. Her methods include a blend of structural integration with a blend of more gentle

modalities such as craniosacral therapy. These methods allow access to deeper tissue with as

little pain as possible.  Bethany prefers working with breathing and aromatherapy techniques to aid in

calming the nervous system to reach a deeper level of relaxation. She is currently studying botany

and has a fascination with the medicinal uses of plants her my practice. In her “free” time, she enjoy’s

playing experimental electronic music with her husband, Abram, hanging out with her cats, doing

yoga and hiking around the beautiful state of Oregon.


Please welcome Bethany to the team and click here book your appointment with her today!

Acupuncture at Written on the Body

We have a new Acupuncturist on the team!

Joy Earl  License number: AC164926 schedule Tuesdays 9am-7pm and Thursdays 9am-3pm

Joy offers acupuncture, tuina massage, foot reflexology, cupping, gua sha, aromatherapy and more!


Joy Earl, LAc

All about Joy:

Before earning my Masters Degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine, my career began as a Tour Manager in the Music Business. I eventually realized I could not sustain the mental, emotional and physical demand for the rest of my life without sacrificing my health in the process. I needed balance and soon discovered the vast benefits of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine. I decided to follow my nurturing quality in taking care of others and learn a new skill that would allow me to help people, as well as myself. Always having an interest in Medicine, I decided to leave Manhattan and move to Portland and dive deep into learning about the benefits of Chinese Medicine and the many modalities it encompasses.  Originally from Houston, I have lived in Austin, Los Angeles, Miami and New York City before calling Portland home. I have travelled extensively overseas on tour as well as throughout the US. I have a passion for traveling and it is my hope to share my knowledge of what I have learned in the healing arts with others. I recently volunteered in rural Nepal for two months treating those who had no access to healthcare. My invaluable experience there has allowed me to observe and treat a high volume of patients with a wide variation of conditions.  When I am not treating patients, I enjoy running, yoga, painting, writing, piano, exploring the beauty of the Northwest by hiking, camping and backpacking, tango and learning German. I have always believed in pushing ones self to continually attain knowledge and understanding of the world around us, its inhabitants and the possibilities we each possess within.  My desire is to help you reach your goals on your journey for balance and health, and to provide you with comfort physically, mentally and emotionally. I look forward to meeting you!

Joy will be offering two specialized services in addition to private acupuncture appointments:

1. mini bliss session: auricular acupuncture, foot reflexology and essential oils

2. active lifestyle session: Tuina with cupping and/or Gua sha

*30 minutes each/$45 each

Book yours today