Friday, January 14, 2011

Jenifer Parker and the Cups of Fire

Oh, the many benefits of directing a holistic health center! First, you meet ridiculously awesome people - both clients and practitioners. Second, when you meet a practitioner, they usually offer you free treatments so that you can learn about them and their way of doing things.

Gwyneth Paltrow, 2004.
Acupuncturist Simon Edward has been in our offices for awhile, and one day we were chatting and I happened to mention that I had always wanted that "cupping thing in TCM like Gwyneth."

He told me that the "cupping thing" is called Cups of Fire, and that the spots are more than just super-cool bruises on your back. The technique is actually part of the whole healing family of disciplines from Traditional Chinese Medicine. The process - as in both acupuncture and Tui-Na - helps get the energy flowing in your body, bringing about dynamic health!

Simon explained how the cupping process reduces pain and inflammation in the muscles in a really unique way. First, the suction of the cups draws the stagnant blood and energy from deep within the muscles up to the surface. This is what creates the "bruises." They don't hurt at all - even after the cups are off. And, the darker the color, the more stagnant blood and lymph needing to get out!

Second, when the cups are removed the fresh blood and energy flow into the muscles, loosening tension and relieving pain.

So, we set up a time, got the video camera, and recorded it to share with you! As usual, Hawk (age two) is our producer and he is usually wrapped up and on Ryan's back (isn't it always the way that a director has a producer on his back?), and he has a few insightful questions and comments, and is nearly as excited about the Cups of Fire as I am - though I think he's more interested in the fire than the cups!

Now, you might think I'm laughing from discomfort. It was really a combination of excitement and awe! When the cups went on, it felt truly amazing. It wasn't at all hot and only a small amount of skin is drawn up into the cup.

And when those cups came off . . . man, it looked cool! And really, this is all about *looking cool* isn't it?

The next day!
Hawk said that he loved my pretty giraffe spots. I also loved my giraffe spots! As you can see from my picture, some areas needed more work than others! But, my marks lasted only a couple days, and I felt great during, and particularly after, the treatment. And even better, I LOVED the whole process. Now I'm like an addict. If I see an empty glass and a match, I want someone to stick it on my back!

But, I leave it to a professional like Simon. Ryan reports that he is just as amazing with the needles, and our friend Tara tells us that the Tui-Na is also top notch, and so we are really so happy to have Simon with us.

Are you curious about TCM and all it has to offer you? Drop by our offices to meet Simon, ask your questions and book your appointments now!


Anonymous said...

oOOOH wow! How did you feel afterward? They do they ever do cupping on other parts of the body like tight hamstrings?

cyndi said...

OMG, I do this as part of Tui-Na treatments Jen..most people freak when they even think about having these purple marks on their Cupping is such a wonderful thing, you can eliminate so many pain/ashi points and get so many health benefits from having this done. I once had to go to a party wearing a strapless ball friend covered me up with makeup coz' she could not stand my purple circles, hehehe oh well....:) Thanks for posting this, its really good!

simon said...

Diane you can cup other parts of the body anywhere where the skin is loose enough. The reason for cupping is to bring stagnant blood and energy/Qi out of the deeper tissue and to the surface, this allows fresh blood and Qi to flow through the tissue and is very affective in relieving pain.

Eric D. Lehman said...

Fascinating, but I think I'll stick to acupuncture.

Healium said...

hey D!

it doesn't hurt at all when it's happening, and i did feel great after. I was doing a sort of "general maintenance" process, so it's not like i was in dire pain and now i'm better. it was a lot of fun and very cool and i felt good.

and i really liked my giraffe spots. :D