gwyneth paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow’s cupping marks. (c) 2004 Associated Press

Fire Cupping is a very popular practice that has been around for over 3,000 years. It has recently been embraced by the Western world and is now being offered at some of the most posh spas in Hollywood. Below is the famous picture of Gwyneth Paltrow with cupping marks on her back.

Cupping is the use of suction cups that get placed on the patient’s back, shoulder and even the front of the body or legs. The air is vacuumed out of the cup thus allowing the cup to “suck” in the skin underneath. The cup is usually kept on for a period of 5 to 20 minutes.

Here are some reasons why cupping is so popular:

  • Relieves tension in tight muscles
  • Improves circulation
  • Decreases pain
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Prevention for the Cold/Flu season

The procedure may leave behind circular marks that are not bruises. I often tell my patients that they will look like an octopus got a hold of them.

Cupping marks typically last 3 to 7 days. They may be as dark as purple – which indicates a lot of tension and stress in the body, or as light as pale pink – which indicates signs of fatigue. 90 % of my clients love getting cupping because it yields immediate results and improves their progress considerably.

After-care for cupping is important. It is best to have a restful day and refrain from strenuous exercise, or exposure to the elements like wind and cold. Typically we advise patients not to go swimming outdoors for about 24 hours after being cupped. It is also a good idea to drink lots of water and eat a light meal that day to better facilitate the circulation of the body to support the cupping procedure. For further details, please do not hesitate to ask Elena about whether cupping is right for you.