Bye Bye Back Pains!

So, here’s the sitch Melody Bostic.

I have a really bad back and I won’t lie my shocking posture does not help it out. It constantly aches to the point where it seems as though I have forgotten what it was once like to not have some sort of mild discomfort. A massage here and there helped but I didn’t feel as though they were going to be able fix my back alone. So when I saw Clevver Tv’s Beauty Break episode ‘WTF IS FIRE CUPPING?‘ I knew straight away that I had to give it a go.

So, I did. A little over 6 hours ago and let me tell you, it was an experience.

Whilst sitting up in bed this morning, I first tried contacting a local remedial clinic but they refused to answer. Not really, they just didn’t answer. So then because I am such a hip young person I decided to shoot them a message on the Facebooks. My request was very last minute, so I had prepared myself for them not to reply or to tell me at least “No sorry, we booked out today.” But then I got nothing like that. Instead, I was given a glimmer of hope just to be left hanging by an automated response stating: “Thanks for messaging us. We try to be as responsive as possible. We’ll get back to you soon.”

Lets just say that ‘soon,’ wasn’t a satisfactory answer for me to sit around and wait all day because this girl has places to be… like work at 5:30pm, so I went searching.  I wasn’t looking for fire cupping because that seemed like a specialty occupation that would be hard to find near by so I was just looking for traditional Chinese cupping therapy. All the places I found were over an hour away beside two massage therapy places, that just so happened to be only 20 minutes away. One massage place had one review and the other had none, so lets just say I was definitely going with the one with the 5 star rating.

I was hoping that this place took walk ins because if they did not my entire plan would have been ruined but luckily they did. I was greeted by lovely chap named Kevin,  who recommended I get a massage prior to my cupping as it helps stimulate blood flow and I was sold. The massage cost $35 and then the cupping on top of that cost $20, so $55 for the entire treatment. Which I didn’t find too expensive.

Kevin then led me down the hall way to a cosy little room, where serene and relaxing music enveloped the room like a warm hug. . He told me to get changed and that someone would be in shortly. I laid there on the massage bed for a short moment before a lady politely knocked very lightly on the door. I said ‘all good’ with my head in the bed hole, maybe a little too loud and then she entered. I never got her name but she had a sweet voice and a very nice pair of black shoes.

 

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Where the magic happened. 

I have a lot of tension in my shoulders and hot damn did she find it. I am glad she did because I felt as though she was getting stuff done. The massage was lovely, though she was needing so hard into my shark fins on my back that I felt like Katy Perry in her Bon Appetite music video. But pain is gain right? I kept thinking to myself in those moments, “well if she believes she needs to press that hard in that particular area, then I must need it”. Writing this and with the slight aching in my shark fins, I realise I may have put a little to much trust in the lady, oh well. I can only imagine what massaging my back was like for her, feeling like she was massaging a rock.

After the 30min massage she asked my if I had ever done cupping before, in which I responded no. She was shook. “This is your first time doing cupping?” she questioned as if I was lying. She found it funny, giggling whilst she then asked me if she could place the cups on my shoulder area because they were “bad” and I replied “go for it” with a polite laugh. She placed five of what seemed to be various sized cups on the left hand side of my back first. From what I could gather through the sounds and her movements, she would place the cups on my back then either squeeze or pull something in the device that sucked my body into it. You know the feeling of putting a vacuum hose up against your skin, that what it felt like. I found that the smaller ones on my lower back tingled as the ones up top ached though it wasn’t overtly painful. They remained on my back for about 5 minutes before the lady transferred them to the right hand side of my body. This side ached more.

 

The cupping session itself was only short. When the cups were released, there was an entertaining noise and a lovely feeling of release as if the tension dispersed.  The tension further simmered as she then massaged the spots. I left feeling great, slightly light headed though I think that was due to the fact that I hadn’t eaten lunch yet, nonetheless I left feeling noticeably better. Though,  I did expect to leave having looked as if I had done an epic high five with an octopus with my back but I didn’t. It was quite anticlimactic really in that sense.

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This is me pleasantly pleased by the cupping experience. 

I am excited to see how my back feels over the next couple days, so I will be recording this as often as possible. I will definitely be giving cupping another go as it really seemed to give me a sense of immediate relief.

Lauren.

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3 comments

  1. I gained so much entertainment out of reading this post! This is too good, I didn’t even realise this cupping was a thing. I don’t understand how they come up with these techniques. I did a little research and saw some images, but it looked really painful however majority of reviews said they had a positive outcome to this type of therapy. This article – https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2016/09/05/commentary/world-commentary/cupping-long-interesting-history/#.WaZWT62B2v4 gives a short summary of the history of ‘cupping’ and where it came from which might help with your further studies. Awesome post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for sharing your cupping experience! I’ve been wandering about doing cupping for some time now and was always put off by the huge red marks it left on people. I was always way too scared that it was going to hurt! Your autoethnographic experience really highlights certain epiphanies where Ellis states that your “personal experiences” help “to understand cultural experiences.” Your epiphanies such as finding it hard to locate a place that does cupping and the employees shock in realising you hadn’t had cupping before. This is a really interesting juxtaposition because she is suggesting that ‘everyone’ has done it before, yet you struggled to find a reputable place to get it done! This highlights the cultural flows of Chinese medicine into western countries. However, I found that cupping is very popular amongst American athletes and public figures. Check out this article: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-37009240 where they talk about Michael Phelps and his cupping at the 2016 Olympics.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This is a great narrative piece! You recounted your story in such great detail! I’ve always been interested in the effects of cupping. I know from personal experience that traditional Thai and Chinese massages have only ever had a brief positive influence on my shoulder and back tension so I look forward to finding out if cupping works better for you.
    There is an interesting article about the myths and truths behind cupping that may be useful for your next blog. It is a great research source that could potentially add benefit to your autoethnographic project.
    The link is here: http://backinhealthosteo.com.au/the-myths-truths-behind-myofascial-cupping-therapy/
    I look forward to reading your next post!

    Liked by 1 person

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