Hello Beauties and Welcome to our first blog post. Each week, you will be able to read "something about Asia" let it be a product review, a recipe, a weird trend, we have it covered for you. We will keep each post short and sweet as we don't want to bore you with long reads unless super necessary.
This week, we are taking you to China and its Ancient Traditional Medicine. Don't let the words Ancient and Traditional scare you as it's a medical practice that's been around for more than 2500 years and practice such as Acupuncture is now widely used. But today, it's all about Cupping. If you have followed the Olympics this summer and happened to watch the swimming events, you may have noticed that purples circles were covering multiple Champion Michael Phelps's shoulders and back. The marks are the result of cupping, considered as the latest alternative therapy helping athletes recover faster and perform better.
So, What is Chinese Cupping?
Cupping is an ancient Chinese therapy in which heated cups are placed on the skin, creating suction. The cups used can be made of a variety of materials including Bamboo and Earthenware but the most common one is made of glass. The suction of the cups improves the blood flow and help relieve pain by pulling out all the toxins in your tissues. Chinese practitioners believe that when one's ill, it's because the body is full of toxins that need to be pull out and cupping would help open up channels of QI or body's life force. A simple way to think about the cupping technique is that it is the inverse of massage. Instead of applying pressure to muscles, the suction uses pressure to pull the skin and muscles upward.
This therapy was developed thousands of years ago and the techniques have really modernized now and is proven to be completely harmful but does it really work?
Here are some of the benefits of cupping:
- releases toxins from the body and activates veins
- stimulates blood flow
- relieves symptoms such as flu, colds, coughs, allergies, fevers and even anxiety
- improve poor circulation
- relieves back and muscle pain
- helps with skin conditions such as itchy skins although cups are not applied to inflamed areas
- reduces the appearance of stretch marks, varicose veins and cellulite..
We tried it for you
I ordered a cupping set from China (£9.99 on amazon) and it only took a couple of days to arrive. The set comes with 1 pump and 6 different size cups. There is a valve at the end of each cup where you connect the pump and all you need to do is press the pump. Some practitioners rely on fire to depressurize the cup first then they apply the cups on the skin. This set is only intended for personal use and don't worry no fire were used!
Do you know that your skin is the largest organ in the body and that cellulite is probably one of the most common skin appearance problem most women (and men too) share?
[Please note: The cupping set were bought for the sole purpose of tissue repairs only.]
Cellulite is basically blobs of fat pushing between tissues under the skin making it look bumpy and giving you the orange peel effect.
By "cupping" you are stimulating the blood circulation making your skin look smoother. Bear in mind that your marks WILL not completely disappear but cupping regularly will help them fade.
How to do it?
1- Apply oil in the area you want to treat (tummy for stretch marks, thighs for cellulite...) I love the smell of coconut oil and it's also a great moisturizer.
2- Choose the size of your cups. (the biggest cups work better on larger area). Place your cup in the pump and start to gently pump. Your skin will be pulled upward and you might feel a tight sensation the first time which is normal. The whole process should be painless. Once your skin is "pulled", start moving your cup in circle motion in an upward movement. The oil applied will help you glide the cups easily around. Usually the first few times, you might feel some bruising where the rim of the cup is, your skin may be red, blue or purple but this will clear up very quickly. Do this process 10-15 mins every day and after couple of weeks, you should notice a difference but be patient.
Did it work?
I have used the set for a couple of weeks and I did notice smoother and lighter stretch marks on my tummy although I did find the whole process a bit time consuming. Silicone cups are also available so maybe they will be easier to use.
Don't forget to hydrate yourself, stay active, avoid processed and sugary foods and you will kiss your cellulite good bye!
Happy cupping x