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Contemporary Cupping

August 15, 2017

Can Cupping Help You Heal & Detox?

Though popular in China for thousands of years now, the healing powers of cupping have recently found a place in the Western world. With athletes like Michael Phelps and Alex Naddour using the practice to detoxify and perform at their peak, one thing is for sure: you don’t have to be an Olympian to benefit from cupping. A wide range of conditions are helped by cupping techniques, making it a wonderful solution for anyone seeking relief from muscle pain, soreness, injury, or stress.


How Cupping Works

The ancient Eastern practice uses suction in cups to pull the skin and tissues away from the body and increase blood flow to the area. This creates space is to drain toxins that linger in your cells and speed up healing.

Cupping essentially boosts your body’s natural detoxification process and re-awakens your tissues. The dead cells and debris that build up from poor circulation and injuries (even minor ones) can cause stiffness, pain, and other health conditions to develop over time. By drawing this stagnant blood to the surface of the skin, the body is able to flush out this fluid and heal itself naturally.

You can think of cupping as an inverse massage: instead of applying pressure, the skin is pulled away. Yet you’ll still feel a deep sense of relaxation, as the pulling lifts pressure from tense muscles for a relieving sensation.

There are different approaches to cupping. Common ones include fixed cupping, where cups are left in place on the skin for anywhere from five to 20 minutes while you relax, and dynamic cupping, which involves gently gliding cups in a series of positions over oiled skin.

Though effective on its own, cupping therapy is commonly used along with acupuncture and massage therapy.


Benefits of Cupping

One of the most common benefits is pain relief: a report published in Evidence-Based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine found that cupping significantly reduced pain in people with low back issues and helped soothe pain associated with respiratory issues.

Other benefits of cupping include:

  • Boosts immune function from moving blood and lymphatic fluid throughout the body
  • Pulls toxins from your body’s tissues
  • Enhances circulation and blood flow
  • Sedates the nervous system, which is excellent for high blood pressure
  • Treats stress, anxiety, and chronic fatigue
  • Speeds up overall healing
  • Clears congestion by draining mucus and phlegm
  • Treatment for respiratory issues
  • Relieves inflammation by bringing healing oxygen and nutrients to the area
  • Increases range of motion
  • Heals knots and adhesions
  • Reduces migraines

What Should I Do After Cupping?

The great thing about cupping is that you can benefit even if you’re at peak health--it’s a deeply relaxing therapy that promotes overall well-being.

It’s important to know that cupping can leave pink, red or purple circles where they are placed, which typically last a few days. Since it’s is a detoxifying practice, it’s a good idea to drink plenty of water and/or take an Epsom salt bath after a cupping session. Once the marks are cleared, you’ll be ready for your next treatment.

Happy cupping!

Craniosacral Therapy

September 15, 2017

Craniosacral Therapy

It’s not magic you’re experiencing; it’s just the deeply soothing effect of a CST-trained practitioner “listening,” and responding to, the subtle rhythms of your craniosacral system by being fully present with you. Following this rhythm, the practitioner will apply light pressure to the cranial bones and sacrum to help the system become unblocked.

If you’re hovering over a keyboard all day, experiencing daily stress, or suffering from migraines, consider craniosacral therapy to release the tension that’s stored in your body and regain optimal health.


Why is the Craniosacral System so Important?

Everything in between your sacrum (the triangular bone at the bottom of your spine) and cranium--the brain and spinal cord, the fluid cushioning them, and deeper layers of membranes--makes up your craniosacral system.


Because this fluid bathes the spine, nourishes the brain, and affects almost every aspect of central nervous system performance, it affects your entire body. A practitioner can see how freely your system is moving and help the fluid move where it’s gotten stuck (which causes pain and strain) with slight, gentle manipulations.


This non-invasive approach relieves stress in the bones of the head, spinal column and sacrum. Another consequence of releasing of the imbalances stored in your body? A deep feeling of peacefulness and relaxation.


Who can Benefit from CST?

CST alleviates a diverse range of symptoms, from chronic pain and fatigue to joint stiffness, and complements the body’s natural healing process because it unravels pain and dysfunction at the source. This allows your body to self-correct and realign. CST is also increasingly being used as a preventative measure to strengthen the body’s resistance to disease.

It’s especially beneficial for migraine sufferers. It’s important to note that CST also eases stress and poor sleep, which are common triggers for migraines in the first place.


What to Expect

The practitioner will start by hearing out your areas of concern. Then, you’ll experience a soft, light touch on the areas that are the sources of dysfunction for you. The practitioner will feel and listen to how the fluid is flowing through you; an ideal rhythm is smooth and steady. You can think of it almost like feeling for the pulse of the heart.

CST comes in to reset your natural state of health by influencing the fluid, allowing the body to release restrictions. It also causes your nervous system to relax, which facilitates true healing--after all, the body at ease is better able to resist disease.



Each session is uniquely tailored to you, meaning the bodywork could start at your scalp or feet, depending on your needs, and then move on to other parts of the body like the pelvis, ribcage and diaphragm, arms, wrists, and hands. In CST, the body leads the way, and the practitioner simply facilitates the healing.


You’ll feel a palpable tension relief and soothing sensation. You may also enter a meditative-like state. Although CST is hands-on, it’s not a massage and you will remain fully clothed; it’s also a slower, gentler experience. You may feel the alignment shift in your body, and you might not; regardless, your body is making the adjustments on its own to return back to balance.


At the end of the session, you’ll likely feel more comfortable in your body: breathing fully and relaxed yet energized. Many people also report an improvement in sleeping patterns. Like most forms of bodywork, you’ll want to keep well-hydrated.


The frequency of CST sessions is up to you entirely, and depends on a number of factors. CST can be a one-time therapy or part of a periodic self-care routine. If you spend days hunched over a computer or dealing with high-pressure situations, you may find regular CST beneficial for tension relief. Or, you may prefer a session when the specific condition you sought treatment for starts to flare up.


We hope that you enjoy the restorative benefits of a properly aligned craniosacral system!