Gwyneth Paltrow and I are in competition to see who is more alternative.A few years ago when I decided to become an Ayurvedic-inspired vegan, she went Macrobiotic. My neighbour Kat and I got really into the Hot Yoga studio up the street, she and her best friend Madonna became spokespeople to the yoga trend and were shot by the paparazzi on their way to downward dog together. I started stewing apples as a healthy breakfast option, she named her first born after one (she wins the last round). But when I saw the photo of Gwenyth’s back after cupping on the Internet, I thought to myself “those small cups? I can beat that – no problem.”
Now since becoming an Ayurvedic Practitioner, I have become a little obsessive about my blood. Sounds odd, but, since the blood nourishes and transports waste away from all of our tissues and circulates our entire body, the its quality is extremely important. While, heat in the blood will cause skin sensitivity, impurities in it can contribute to acne.
So, many a time, I have gotten a treatment touted by Traditional Chinese Medicine called “cupping” in which glass cups are made into suction cups as fire is applied to the air within them, and these suctions are placed on our fleshy parts – most popularly the back. This draws up impure blood, promotes the circulation of fresh blood, clears heat and stagnation as well as opens our channels. Its also good for pain relief as it draws toxins and turbid fluid away from the muscle area.
Ayurveda also has a treatment similar to this, but instead they use leeches for suction. But I opt for cupping because I cannot find a practitioner in the city who uses leeches, as well as I would have to do many grounding mantras to get over the idea of those slimy slitherers being placed all over my body. Shiver.
So, determined to top a turbo celeb, I went to the Xiaolan Health Centre to get another round of cupping. And while I paid double what I usually do for acupuncture and cupping, stepping into this clinic is like stepping into Shangrila. And my body thanked me too — as my CMD, Amanda, applied the cups, they didn’t hurt but felt good in a squeezing, stimulating way. Now I won’t lie and say it is a relaxing treatment, but it definitely is satisfying (like how a deep massage can be uncomfortable but relieving). I also asked Amanda if this could be good for cellulite as cellulite is simply toxic fat that has impeded circulation and therefore water-retention, and she cheerfully replied absolutely! I note that I should try a series on my thighs.
Cupping also gives you insight to your internal body. Where the suction marks are darker indicates which organs need the most help. For me, it showed that my lungs and kidneys were weakest as those cup markings were a deep red on the back where my kidneys and lungs are. Now, the only downside to this service is that you should only do this when you are not planning to wear any backless dresses or you will look like you have rows of perfectly circle-shaped hickeys down your back. We could call them Hickeys for health – sounds like a charity I could support. But as they usually only last 3-5 days, its not a major inconvenience.
Check out my pic below. Take that Gwyneth, I think I won round four.