I have always been a huge advocate of natural treatments. Personally, I believe that if you feel off balanced or are in pain, trying to find a solution that benefits your body without chemicals or hormones is the best. That is how I decided to try acupuncture and cupping.
I have been thinking about trying acupuncture and cupping for awhile. Luckily, when the new yoga studio, Citizen Yoga Bloomfield, opened down the street, they had an acupuncturist. I contacted her immediately with general questions, my concerns that I would like to work on and scheduled my appointment.
In traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture is linked to the belief that disease is caused by disruptions to the flow of energy, or qi, in the body. Acupuncture stimulates points on or under the skin called acupuncture points or acupressure points, releasing this qi.
My appointment was at 7:00 am. I showed up to the studio and filled out my medical history and any symptoms I was currently having. I decided I wanted to use acupuncture to help with:
- Period symptoms
- Back pain
- Shoulder pain
- Hip pain
- Digestive issues (bloating and constipation)
- Regulating my hormones
My acupuncturist, Alex, explained to me how acupuncture worked, then discussed my “issues” with me and what I was hoping to gain from acupuncture. She then showed me the needles (they were so tiny) and explained the different sensations I would possibly feel during the process.
It was time for me to lay down on the table. My acupuncturist put 16 needles total on my head, neck, arms, stomach and legs. I couldn’t even feel them! She also put a heat lamp over my stomach. I didn’t feel a rush of emotions or any sensation right away, but she had told me this was normal. I was left in the room with music playing for almost 20 minutes. It was nice to sit in my thoughts and relax, meditate.
When the session was over, she quickly removed the needles (couldn’t feel it) and then I rolled over onto my stomach. This was when cupping was included in my appointment. You probably have heard about the cupping craze during the 2016 Summer Olympics, and let me just tell you; I felt like Michael Phelps.
Alex put 10 cups on my upper shoulders and lower back. The cups used were heat-less and “sucked out” the air with a handheld tool. It felt unreal. It did not hurt by any means, but it was very tight. It feels like a vacuum is sucking up your skin or someone is pulling your muscles away from your bones. I laid there for about 10 minutes before Alex came to remove them.
Due to the suction, I was left with large bruise-like marks on my back. I’m not sure if it was placebo, but I felt instant relief. I carry my stress in my shoulders and suffer from lower back pain from a knee injury. I usually can not sit for long periods of time and have pressure and pain every day.
At the end of my appointment, I discussed my continued treatment and decided on scheduling three follow-up visits. It was quick, easy and relaxing. The rest of the day, I felt like I was high on endorphins. I had zero back pain or pressure. When a stressful situation came up, I was able to instantly relax and stop overthinking.
My spots turned a dark purple and lasted around 5 days. I have heard that the spots that appear darker, are areas where your body needed blood flow the most. You can see on the images that the spots on my shoulders are the color of Barney. My body needed this. I can confidently say if you feel “off balanced” or have uncontrollable pain, try holistic medicine. Everybody is different, but I highly recommend trying acupuncture and cupping.
Benefits of Acupuncture and Cupping
Acupuncture helps relieve migraines, seasonal allergies, boost mood (anxiety, depression, stress), assist in regulating hormones, build immunity, regulate weight, relieve period symptoms and promote better sleep.
Cupping is used to relieve back and neck pains, stiff muscles, anxiety, fatigue, migraines, rheumatism, and even cellulite. It increases blood flow, releases fascia and improves mobility. It is basically a deep tissue massage.