Cupping is not new by any means, but it recently became a topic of discussion after celebrities like Michael Phelps and Lea Michele were photographed sporting large, circular bruises on their backs. Sure, this treatment definitely has the "WTF" factor that many might only associate with a celebrity lifestyle, but don't be so quick to attribute it to another odd trend that claims big benefits with little result.
Cupping therapy is an ancient method that utilises a cupping tool to create suction, helping with circulation and ailments like inflammation, similar to a deep tissue massage. It can be extremely relaxing but also extremely effective at helping with pain. I was experiencing a shooting pain down my back anytime I turned my neck, and instead of heading to the doctor, I visited acupuncturist Samantha Manka-Segal, L.Ac. In addition to sticking several needles in my back and shoulders, which helped "deflate" the tenseness I was feeling, she cupped my back as well. It "hurt so good," for lack of better words. And my pain seemed to vanish immediately.
Now that you know my personal history with cupping, it should be said that I am a huge sceptic with anything beauty related. I didn't get on the microcurrent bandwagon until an esthetician showed me half of my face with the treatment and half of it without — and it looked like I had a partial face lift. I believe that cellulite creams are a scam, as I've yet to find anything at home that bears any result. So when I was told by Nurse Jamie, whose clients include Shay Mitchell and the Kardashians, about facial cupping, I was a little hesitant, even with my positive experience with cupping therapy.
"It's a little east meets west," Jamie said. The benefits are improving circulation and reducing inflammation, similar to how it works on the body, and it's usually an add-on service to a facial. And because the cups are consistently moving on the skin and only kept on for five to 10 seconds, you won't end up with a bruised face. Just be careful not to leave them suctioned for longer than that.
First, a mask was applied to my skin to give it a nice slip for the suctions. Then the cups, which reminded me of those nasal aspirators you use on babies, were suctioned to my face and moved in upward motions for a few seconds at a time. It was extremely relaxing, kind of like a face massage. The best part, though, was the immediate result. After working on one side of my face, I looked in the mirror and saw how lifted that side of my face was compared to the other.
Don't believe me? Watch the video to see the process in action and to see my results for yourself.