I love cupping. Its so good for detoxifying our blood, which is important when treating skin imbalances. Our blood system feeds our skin as well as oxygenates and cleanses our skin cells, so maintaining it is essential to a healthy complexion. If there is too much heat in our blood this can translate into facial inflammation and breakouts, while too much dampness can lead to cysts and other accumulations on the surface of our skin. Cupping draws impurities in our blood and improves stagnation (poor circulation and blood stagnation leads to toxins). But it also is a wonderful diagnostic tool that shows us where our bodies have blockages and a lack of bloodflow. This helps immensely with body pain as stagnation is often the cause of tension and aching (re: my shoulders).
So, when I was walking around downtown Osaka feeling a bit withered from all my traveling, images of the most intense cupping caught my eye. I have long since been a regular of getting a few cups put on my back during a massage or with acupuncture – but this was really in-depth. They say the Japanese pay special attention to detail, and boy, was this cupping detailed.
The lovely ladies at the cupping clinic (they didn’t do anything BUT cupping here….true cupping specialists) didn’t speak English – so I did my best miming of what I wanted. There was a lot of “Owww, oww” while pointing at my back. But I have learned long ago that healing is universal and that if you trust a practitioner, its best to let them do their thang.
It was a blur of cups – big cups, then replaced by smaller cups, cups on my feet, back, hips, butt and legs. They used a machine unlike the traditional flame-to-glass so they could place the suctions on at lightening speed. And surprisingly, it wasn’t uncomfortable at all except for on my feet (!)
They ended the treatment with a quick Tuina massage done by the two of them at the same time (that’s pampering!)- and all for 6000 Yen (about $70 bucks). When I came out Ben was waiting for me while getting his feet massaged. They had put him into an electric foot massager while he sat, which I thought was really considerate. I myself felt refreshed and my body stimulated. But besides feeling good, one wonderful thing was to see the cup marks when I got home. I have long assumed my shoulder pain was due to tension on the top of my shoulders, but my markings were darkest on the balls and blades of them, which told me the source of my pain was here. I also has darkness on my hips but not so much on my lower back, indicating that my mild lower back pain maybe rooted here too.
Cupping is a great way to map out the tensions and buildup in your body. It can provide you insight to where stagnation truly lies, not just relying on where you feel it – and I am so happy that I got mine cleared away by this fantastic cupping nook. Now to find an excuse to visit Osaka regularly for future tune ups. Its now a holistic vanity fav 🙂