Hi, It’s Dr. Perry
If you carry tension in your back or particularly in your upper traps, upper back area, I have something that I’m going to highly recommend you try. It’s called cupping. Now, I practice acupuncture and even though a lot of practitioners of Eastern type disciplines in health care use cupping, I don’t really consider it to be acupuncture. Acupuncture is based on meridians specific points in the body that we stimulate usually using a fine gauge needle to illicit a specific healing response in the body. I typically will use cupping with a patient who has tension particularly in the upper back or lower back. That’s where I find it most effective. As an added bonus, adjunct to a full body holistic type acupuncture treatment. So, the benefits of cupping are to relax muscles and increase blood flow to the area to promote more rapid healing, and for many patients, they report that nothing has ever released muscle tension particularly in this upper traps area, like cupping does. So, I recommend that you seek out someone who’s got some training and is qualified to do it. There are not too many contraindications. You definitely don’t want to do cupping directly over an area where the skin is broken or if you’re dealing with an infection, can be contraindicated if you’re very conservative, during pregnancy. So, obviously you want to talk to somebody potentially maybe if you’re using a blood thinner, maybe. But a qualified practitioner will know if you’re a candidate for cupping. So, I have a cup here and I’m going to do my best to show you how it works. Now, traditional cupping is done with a glass cup and fire is lit on a Q-tip and you insert it in here and then rapidly place it on the skin and it creates that suction, and that’s the way I used to do it, but modern, easy technology. This is a lot faster and a lot easier. So, it’s a plastic cup with a pump. I’m going to try to show you how it works on my forearm here. The problem is that I only have one hand, so you place the cup here and you can see that it draws quite a bit of skin up into the cup. And there you go. Now this cup is a little bit too large for this area of my body, so it’s not sticking and of course I need another hand to pull the pump off, so I can’t really completely demonstrate how it looks. But, what you’re left with is almost what looks like a hickey. You may have seen some of the Olympic athletes who’d had it done and you can see those round circular almost like purple bruises on their body. It’s intense, I guess, is the best way I would describe it, but the relaxation afterwards. It’s totally worth it. So I just put the cups on, create that really intense suction, and tell my patients to just focus on breathing. I usually leave them on 10 or 15 minutes and when they come off that relief seems to be immediate and sometimes lasts for quite a while.
So give cupping a try.