What the F*ck is Cupping Anyway?
I’ve been following Jordan at Indigo for some time now. Her holistic approach to massage and more pulled me in. A few rave reviews about her work and presence also made it to my ears. When I started seeing photos of cupping, I initially cringed. Then, I was curious. If you’re going to have visible red marks on your back after the service, it must be worthwhile, right? If celebrities and athletes were wearing their red circles proudly, it must be adding value to their physical wellness. Even if it was a little painful, I was interested to see what it was all about.
So, What is it?
Cupping is a therapy grounded in ancient traditional medicine. It uses negative pressure to improve the circulation of blood and lymph. The goal is to help the body rid itself of stagnant toxins. We all have toxins in our bodies, especially in today’s climate. Toxins come from the foods we eat, the air we breathe, and the water we drink. Toxins are also released in the body’s regular processes like cellular respiration, which produces metabolic waste, and muscle regeneration (especially if you work out regularly), which produces lactic acid.
The lymphatic system is the best way our bodies get rid of toxins and fight disease. You learned about this in science class in middle school. Many of the lymphatic vessels sit just under the surface of your skin. Cupping brings the toxins in your body straight to these vessels so they can do their work faster and more efficiently. The end result? Your tight muscles, chronic pain, and other mental and physical stressors are alleviated. Your body can heal itself naturally more easily.
What Does it Feel Like?
Jordan starts out the experience with a massage. This helps relax and open up your muscles. I’ve experienced quite a few massages in my life. Jordan’s hands are magical. She knows where every fiber in your back belongs and can pinpoint the kinks and “triggers” as she calls them. In fact, when she’s massaging your back, she’s feeling for the spots she wants to place the cups. As she slowly begins to place the cups on your back, she never really stops massaging. She’s constantly feeling for the next spot to place a cup.
As the suction from the cups takes hold, there is no pain. I repeat: I experienced no pain. It simply felt like an extension of the massage. Some of the cupped spots will trigger a slight bit of tension in other regions of your body. When she was working on my neck, for example, my temples tensed a bit. Nothing was ever uncomfortable, though.
At the end, you do have some marks on your back from the suction. Depending on how healthy you are, says Jordan, will depend on how dark the marks are. Apparently I’m kind of healthy. I had a few circles on my back that disappeared within a day.
Would I do it again?
Yes. I not only felt the after effects of a great massage, but I felt energized. I also felt confident with Jordan’s knowledge of the body and in the value of cupping. She’s a real advocate of the service. Celebrities and athletes aren’t doing cupping for no reason. It has real benefits.