I was sick and tired of Flu… until I went for Chinese Cupping!

I had been down with flu for the last three days and today’s the first day I woke up feeling almost normal. Like a miracle, I felt my first surge of relief from flu symptoms yesterday after I went down to a Chinese clinic and had my toxins and ‘cold air’ sucked by suction glass cups. Now, I’m left with big bruises on my back but I feel good!

What is Cupping?
Cupping (拔罐) is a treatment practiced in Traditional Chinese Medicine that involves the placement of cups, usually made of glass, on the skin to create a suction. The suction can be due to a mechanical vacuum pump or the more traditional use of ‘flame’. It looks pretty gross to watch and the big perfectly round bruises it leaves look ‘painful’. But the treatment isn’t nearly as uncomfortable as it looks.

Improving the Flow of Qi
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, a very important concept is the ‘Qi’ or the ‘life force’. Cupping is supposed to work like the reverse of massage where instead of applying pressure on meridian points, it pulls the muscles and skin from these points to open up the flow of Qi and assist in the release of toxins from the body.

I felt ‘rejuvenated’ and almost back to normal

To be honest, although I’ve believed for a while now that cupping can relieve fatigue symptoms on the back due to my earlier experiences, I never really thought it could help me with my flu symptoms. Hubby told me that he experienced great relief after going for cupping right before he almost had flu about two weeks ago. I was skeptical because Hubby has quite a history of ‘exaggerating’ good results.

Yesterday, although I was better compared to two days ago, I was still feeling really ill and heavy. I felt ‘burdened’. In fact, right before I went for cupping, I was nauseous and dizzy. But after coming out from the 30-min treatment, I felt really light, as if I had an incredibly good power nap. I didn’t pay attention to it at first until Hubby told me I had been blabbering non-stop about TV shows and internet gossip for about 1 1/2 hours which meant I was obviously feeling much, much better.

Go to Licensed Practitioners Only
Although this treatment is relatively safe, the procedure still requires trained hands. I doubt it’s just me watching all the Final Destination movies but I’m sure you’ll agree that, especially with the use of flames to create the vacuum, a lot of things can go wrong. Besides, cupping needs to follow the meridian points of the body or it might do more harm than good. After the treatment, I was advised to avoid anything cold for two hours.

Have you tried or heard of cupping before? Do you think it really works?

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  • http://www.prettybeautiful.net xin

    i have heard and read so much about cupping, but also read many horrifying news about getting skin burnt on cupping >< the most extreme i have tried was just gua sha, i had very bad water retention on my feet once from whole day out walking, and by the end of the day, i could barely fit into my shoes!!!

    my aunt (she's a beautician) spent a good 3 hours gua sha for me, and all the retention was gone and i went the loo a couple of times in between. I have the thing for gua sha purpose but i just find it hard to use strength on myself if i were to do it.
    xin recently blogged..New Brand from New Zealand: Linden Leaves Absolute Dreams Body Oil Review

    • http://www.ecobeautysecrets.com Vivi

      I actually saw lots of scary photos of cupping-related accidents.

      I haven’t tried guasha before because I’m a bit scared. I’m really thin so I fear that if someone scrapes the rock hard against my skin, it’ll be like grinding against my bones almost directly. But I heard that it can actually work wonders in curing water retention and toxin accumulation — when done properly, of course.

      It might not be the strength that’s hard to find but the motivation. ;p How many beauty tools do we have at home which we barely use? ;p haha

  • http://www.lovelycosme.blogspot.com Lynn

    Oh,I’ve tried this one!But the practitioner here also prick needle to get “dirty”blood out.And they didn’t use the flame either.Last time I did it,it was like..5 yrs ago.I haven’t done it again,yet 😀 Over all,I think this treatment is necessary to do,once in awhile to get clean blood :)

    • http://www.ecobeautysecrets.com Vivi

      I’ve heard of that method too but I’m too scared! I haven’t even tried acupuncture before.
      I saw the photos on google with the cups half-filled with blood and it really freaked me out. XO

      • http://www.lovelycosme.blogspot.com Lynn

        You haven’t even tried accupuncture before??:O really?? wow,I thought as someone from Chinese ethnicity,at least you’ve tried once(silly thought I know:D).

        Well,accupuncture one doesn’t shed our blood out,it’s more preferable by me.That cupping one,at least the blood thingy…did look scary.Yep,it half filled with blood :/
        Lynn recently blogged..Wishlist of 2013

  • http://organiclassie.com Dana

    I’ve heard of this but never been and got it ‘done’ – there are no practitioners where I live. It sounds really interesting. I was aware that it draws toxins out, although I always assumed it was sore when looking at the bruised results! Good to know it’s not that bad and glad to hear it’s helped you in some way. There’s nothing worse than being ill, and nothing better than feeling lighter :)

    • http://www.ecobeautysecrets.com Vivi

      The first time I tried it, I was very scared when I stepped into the clinic. That was about 2 years ago… but it turned out that the massage that came before the ‘cupping’ was far more painful. Seriously, my Chinese is incredibly bad but I was able to speak and tell the therapist to stop massaging me so hard in Chinese and she understood me. Until now, it remains a mystery where all the words came out, haha. My Hubby was there to watch and he couldn’t stop laughing.

  • http://beautybadass.com Serena Eden

    I’m so happy to have found your blog! I love chinese cupping. My mom used to do it for me when I was a kid & it has helped me out so much in the past. I love Eco remedies & eco-friendly makeup products :) Trying to use majority eco-friendly/ organic makeup & minority ‘conventional’. 😉
    I’d love it if you could pop over to my blog as well and let me know what you think!
    Serena Eden recently blogged..Mini Makeup Haul

    • http://www.ecobeautysecrets.com Vivi

      Hi Serena, glad you liked it here. :) Hope to see you often and best of luck in building up your baby blog, too! I marathoned through your vids last night, haha.

      Nobody in my family knows how to do this (although Hubby says he can but I don’t trust him, haha) so I always have to go to the TCM clinic to get it done.

  • http://www.perfectskincareforyou.com/ Swati

    wow!! does it hurt??? the bruises look really bad!! why does it bruise btw???
    Swati recently blogged..Nivea Repair & Beauty Lip Balm {Product Review}

    • http://www.ecobeautysecrets.com Vivi

      It doesn’t hurt. But it bruises because of the suction cups.

      I can’t think of a better way to put it — but the suction cups are like big lips, haha. Then you get really, really bad ‘kiss marks’ or ‘love marks’ on your back because they suck the skin. Hahaha!

  • a

    The turkish people and muslims uses this method too!!
    I have many acquaintenses..older ladies who is very good at this ^,^. But they do it mostly for back pain and muscle pain ^,^. The other method (which the muslim prophed recommends stronly, which is why it’s popular among muslims) is where you do small incisions just between the shoulders to get out “bad blood. it’s not the same as tapping blood from the vains and is scientifically proven to work well ^,^.

    those methods has been used for many centuries and I believe stronly in them *,* But I thing people in west world can be very sceptical and be scared of this methods :p

    I had no idea that Chinese people used this methods too! super interesting! ^,^.

    • http://www.ecobeautysecrets.com Vivi

      Wow! And I never knew that the Turkish and most Muslims believe in this method, too! :) Thank you for sharing that information! I always thought it was a uniquely Chinese thing. I’m not pure Chinese and I grew up with Western Medicine so ‘cupping’ was a very weird idea to me previously. But I was surprised when I finally tried it and it worked on me.

      I’ve never heard of the incisions, too, but I know that some cupping method includes poking of needles that release blood into the cups. I saw some pictures on the internet and I think I’m too scared to try it. :p