What do Gwyneth Paltrow and Victoria Beckham have in common? Besides being über famous, stunningly beautiful and in possession of gorgeous (and successful) husbands, they both share the same beauty secret. Both have been seen out and about with strange circular bruises on their back. Don’t worry, they haven’t been hurt, it’s actually the opposite.
Both celebrities have undergone an ancient Chinese form of medicine called cupping therapy. The technique, a form of acupuncture, involves suctioning cups on the skin “to push old, stagnant and clotted blood to the surface to make room for a fresh blood supply,” says Santa Monica, CA, licensed acupuncturist, Homa Sajadian. The therapy is typically used to treat muscular problems, chronic cough and even menstrual problems among others.
So how will this therapy make you more beautiful? Simply put, cupping detoxifies the body and improves circulation. It’s this improved circulation that helps promote healthy skin and boosts the complexion.
I had the treatment done at Exhale Spa at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica, CA, to see for myself if Gwyneth and Victoria are onto something. After discussing my health history, observing my tongue and taking my pulse, my acupuncturist, Homa, came up with a plan of action. We decided to go with a combination of acupuncture and cupping to see the best results.
After going through a round of acupuncture—almost completely painless, in case you were wondering—Homa rubbed some oils on my back and the cupping commenced. Even though cupping is traditionally done with a flame, she used a hand pump to create the suction. I thought that I was going to have several cups placed all over my back, but to my surprise, she only used two. She also moved the still suctioned cups around my back creating a sort of “reverse” massage. And let me tell you, it felt amazing. After moving one cup around, she would let it rest in a strategic spot and then moved on to the other.
This back and forth continued until the appointment was over. Afterwards, I felt completely relaxed and in the mood for a nap (who doesn’t after a massage?). As for the bruising, I actually didn’t experience anything more than some slight redness, but then I don’t bruise very easily. After a couple of hours, and for the next couple of days, I felt full of energy and really great. As an added bonus, the slight pain I had in my back before the appointment was completely gone!
While I didn’t really notice any changes to my complexion, that could be because cupping isn’t really a one-treatment-wonder. Or as Homa put it, “You can’t expect a miracle from one treatment.” It takes a few appointments or more, depending on your acupuncturist’s assessment, to really see some noticeable results. I’ve been raving about this treatment since my appointment and I would definitely recommend it to anyone.