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acupuncture and cupping

August 4, 2011

Yesterday I went to an acupuncture treatment for my back. It was my very first time to try acupuncture and I was nervous but glad I went. The appointment lasted about 2 hours. The first hour was spent getting a very detailed medical history as well as detailing exacting what was going on with my back like my symptoms and what made it feel better and worse. The doctor also spent about 15-20 minutes evaluating me and watching me walk, lie down and do certain movements. She then proceeded with her recommended course of action. She told me she would be doing some acupuncture as well as some cupping therapy.

What is cupping? Cupping is an ancient Chinese method of causing local congestion. A partial  vacuum is created in cups placed on the skin either by means of heat or suction. This draws up the underlying tissues. When the cup is left in place on the skin  for a few minutes, blood stasis is formed and localized healing takes place. Cupping therapy has been further developed as a means to open the ‘Meridians’  of the body. Meridians are the conduits in the body through which energy flows to every part of the body and through every organ and tissue. There are five meridians on the back that, when opened, allow invigorating energy to travel the whole length of the body. It has been found that cupping is probably the best way of opening those meridians.

So I had several needles put into my hands, ankles, backs of my knees and all down my spinal column. I didn’t feel them. I felt a small tingle in some of the insertion points and some general pressure down my spinal column but it wasn’t uncomfortable and I never actually felt the needles going in or being removed.

The cupping was a different story. She used small cups that were suctioned onto my back. I definitely felt some pressure but it was one of those experiences that hurt really good. When she actually released the cups I was like no not yet! ha! But I can’t say that the results weren’t pretty. It brings the blood up to the surface and causes back hickies (the professional term I am using).

I have another appointment for next Wednesday and hopefully after a few treatments I am starting to get some relief. I am not sure what I’ve done but I am willing to do whatever I need to! They also prescribed me a herb called Garden Flower to help. Once we get this back thing cleared up (power of positive thinking) I am hoping to explore acupuncture in connection with hypothyroidism and fertility to see if that helps me. I really liked the acupuncturist and am excited to see where this can potentially lead.

Have you ever heard of cupping?

21 Comments leave one →
  1. August 4, 2011 7:11 am

    I have heard of it but never tried it. My mom is a big fan of acupuncture. She said it’s really helped her back and teeth. She has a lot of dental problems.

  2. August 4, 2011 7:16 am

    I’ve heard of it…because Gwyneth Paltrow does it!! 🙂 I hope it helps!!

  3. Kim permalink
    August 4, 2011 7:43 am

    very interesting! I was so anxious to hear how it went! I hope it helps! Today’s my last day to coach the morning camp:( I will miss all of you so much but will hopefully see you at evening camps. If not, we need to hang out sometime! Happy healing:)

    • August 4, 2011 8:06 am

      Me too Kim! I am so sad I didn’t get to finish out the summer with you. I am definitely up for hanging out!

  4. August 4, 2011 7:59 am

    I read about cupping on another blog — can’t remember which one though. Sounds interesting though.

    Do you think the acupuncture/cupping helped relieve some of your pain, or is it something that takes time before it is effective?

    • August 4, 2011 8:07 am

      I already feel better today so I think it will take time. They say if after 4 or 5 times you aren’t feeling any better then it probably isn’t going to work for you.

  5. August 4, 2011 8:33 am

    I’ve heard of cupping but have never done it. I hope it helps you heal quickly!

  6. August 4, 2011 11:08 am

    I remember when pictures hit the internet of Gwenyth Paltrow with those circle bruises and everyone was like ‘what is going on?’ At least it’s kind of a pretty pattern – ha! Glad you feel better and am excited for you to continue the treatments. My ‘natural cures’ book that I got has a whole section on accupuncture and infertility, and I have another friend trying it for her fertility challenges. Very cool!

  7. August 4, 2011 11:12 am

    Thyroid plays a key role in fertility. It’s actually quite surprising and I bet it will help you.

  8. August 4, 2011 11:22 am

    I tried it! I dont think id do the cupping again unless i really needed it.

  9. August 4, 2011 11:35 am

    I’m such a fan of Eastern medicine. I hope you feel better and everything works out. I had a friend get it done and she didn’t get a pattern, just random spots so her treatment wasn’t as pretty;)

  10. August 4, 2011 12:23 pm

    I’ve heard of that and actually one of my friends recently did it. I’m not sure how I feel about it though..those spots freak me out a bit. Were you nervous?!

  11. August 4, 2011 12:35 pm

    I have heard of cupping, but Ive never had it done. I cant wait to see if it makes a difference for you.

  12. August 4, 2011 4:25 pm

    I have heard of cupping, actually! I think I saw it on TV once. I would totally explore acupuncture for fertility issues! Yaaay, I’m keeping my thoughts positive for you.

  13. August 4, 2011 8:04 pm

    So interesting! I have hypothyroidism so keep me posted on how the cupping effects it!!

  14. August 4, 2011 9:25 pm

    ahh crazy but I so believe in it! and I hope it works. I just got the accupuncture done on my stomach for gallbladder issues and it helps. Its so sore the next day but I think its because the inflammation. Probably the same for your back, yes?,

    Positive thinking is key, youre so right kell!

  15. August 17, 2011 4:50 pm

    Kelly, my husband agreed to have cupping done on his sore neck without fully understanding what it was…. he showed up to our Austin wedding reception with this HUGE hickey on the side of his neck. I thought I would kill him! Now we laugh about it.

    • August 17, 2011 5:08 pm

      Oh Mandy…that is funny although I am sure not at the time!!

  16. Kal permalink
    March 28, 2013 8:38 pm

    Hi Kelly,

    Its been over a year now, have you had cupping done again? how has it affected your hypothyroidism? I am having it done in the morning and doing some last min reading. Thanks,Kal

    • March 29, 2013 9:00 am

      I did cupping for a brief time to help my back. I hurt my back doing a kettle bell exercise and acupuncture and cupping was the only thing that worked! I’ve had no trouble with my back since then! Yay! As for my hypothyroidism I take daily medication. I take 88mcg of synthroid. It took a few months to figure out the dosage that worked best for me but after we figured that out it hasn’t been a problem for me in my daily life. Hope this information helps!

  17. Kal permalink
    March 30, 2013 8:31 pm

    Thanks, I tried Levothyroxine 50mcg then 25mcg but didnt respond so well, I started instantly feeling weak, lost my line of thought for a while plus a number of symptoms so simply stopped. And today I tried cupping, and it caused me to collapse after a few mins- which I will research later. If I find anything useful I will post with the reference. Thanks for posting back. Kal

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