Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Keep Your Head Down (And Your Fanny Up)

There are numerous reasons your massage therapist puts you face down other than that she would like to admire your fanny with her hands.

For example, if you're face down with your head in a  donut, she can cup you and you can't look.

My therapist doesn't cup me often but every now and then she decides that's exactly what I need, and a donuted face doesn't argue. Cupping, for those who don't know, is an ancient and respected mode of quackery in which a vacuum is introduced in a cup and it is then applied to your person in order to suck up your skin and draw blood to the surface. To this day nobody really knows if it does anything for you, but once a medical technique has been shown to be really ancient it acquires its own legitimacy. Trepanning and Chickenpox Parties are due for a comeback.

I have been having some trouble with my elbows and that might have been what she was working on. She always asks me right up front if there's something bothering me, and I always tell her No, in case she wants to do something about it. But she finds it anyway, and does something about it.

Anyway, cupping might help something, and doesn't hurt anything, which is already more than you can say for a lot of modern medicine. There haven't been any good double-blind trials of the method, because it's hard to get a control group. You the hell know if you're being cupped. If you're face down with your head in a donut, and you get a lot of cups on you, as I just did, you start to imagine you're being suspended from the ceiling like the Mission Impossible guy. And when you're done, you look like you've been making out with an octopus.

At least my therapist is modern. She uses a rubber pump to achieve the vacuum. Other practitioners might go old-school. They set a fire in their cups and apply them to your skin just about as soon as it goes out, ideally, and get the vacuum as the air in the cup cools. Then...well, I can't bear to type it, let's just cut and paste:

"The therapist removes the cup and uses a small scalpel to make light, tiny cuts on your skin. Next, she does a second suction to draw out a quantity of blood. You might get 3-5 cups in your first session."

Of blood?

Oh. They mean they use 3-5 cups, not draw 3-5 cups. WebMD needs an editor, right now.

Anyway, three to five cups? I had at least sixteen on me. I looked like a jackfruit. But my therapist has never set me on fire or sliced me up. That's one of many things I love about her.

Correct. That says "Dongbang Cupping Set."
There are probably several advantages to cupping, from a legitimate licensed massage therapist's point of view, if not that other kind. If you get sixteen cups on you drawing all your blood up to the surface and you have a penis, you are not getting a boner for a long time. Which is good because they do not have a proper donut for that.

According to some sources, cupping treatment can strengthen the body's resistance, although not to cupping; it can promote blood circulation, or at least bloody circles; and it can restore balance between positive and negative forces.

I call bullshit. Only putting Merrick Garland on the Supreme Court can do that.

22 comments:

  1. Massage therapy does work well for a number of things. I found it better than pills for preventing migraines. I was being treated for a shoulder issue at the time, and just casually mentioned that I get a lot of migraines. "Oh, I can fix that," he said. He massaged a couple of muscles in the back of my neck, and sure enough -- it worked. (I have a tendency to hold stress in my neck area.)

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    1. I totally endorse massage therapy and I have it once a month. Cupping? Well...

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  2. My acupuncturist just did that to me on Monday! Last time she did it was the day before my dermatology appointment. When my dermatologist said, "I see you've had some cupping done," I told her that, no, I was at the aquarium. I turned my back on the octopus exhibit when I felt something wrap around my waist. It was all I could do to break free from those frightening tentacles. My doctor's eyes rolled like fruits on a slot machine. I couldn't fathom that she didn't believe my story.
    Besides, the cupping seems to help me quite a bit, especially with lower back pain.

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    1. Excellent! Acupuncture is supposed to do wonders too, but I've never had it done. Dave did when he had frozen shoulder and was amazed that it freed his shoulder up immediately, although it froze up again pretty quick.

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  3. Can't you just tell your massage therapist what you want? A regular massage, no bells or whistles? I'd be out the door and on to someone else if he or she couldn't respect that.

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    1. Oh no. I trust this woman with everything. She's a miracle worker. That's why I suspect cupping has its place. I'm not sure I've benefited from it but I can't rule it out. It's only five minutes out of an hour massage that is a total WORKOUT!

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    2. But those are BRUISES you got there! I can't see the benefit of bruises!

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  4. At my last massage appointment, I saw that my therapist had a whole set of lovely glass cups sitting out. Like Nancy Reagan told us to do, "I just said NO". Fortunately, my masseur understood. Although I do let him do things like walk on my back and stretch my arms with his knee braced against the massage table....

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    1. I can't even get my cat to walk on my back. Now I can't reach the tuna juice on my spine.

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  5. My husband, who was born and raised in Lebanon, tells me cupping was a popular treatment there when he was young. I don't know why this surprises me. It's allegedly an ancient Chinese technique, hard for me to imagine how it became a "thing" in Lebanon in mid-1900s. On another note, he also enjoyed "Turkish baths" as a young man.

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    1. I think cupping in the context of a public bath might be a whole other thing.

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  6. I've heard of cupping and personally don't see any benefit. If you want good circulation you can run around like a child or do star jumps all day or just for five minutes, or jump into freezing water right after a sauna like the Swedish do. Even just wriggling and fidgeting the whole time you're in your computer chair gets the blood moving.

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    1. I ain't jumping in no freezing water no way nohow.

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  7. All very old school and new school to me. I wish I was brave enough to try it.

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  8. As a Licensed Massage Therapist with 31 years of experience, I can say that cupping has become popular not because it is effective when done by MTs, but because we have to take classes for license renewal and so they keep coming up with stuff further and further away from legitimate massage practices.
    Actual MASSAGE increases circulation. How ‘bout just doing that?

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    1. I adore my therapist! In 12 years she's cupped me about three times, and it only takes about five minutes. The rest of the time she is hammering me into submission, I assure you.

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  9. I don't want anyone touching my back, let alone putting sucking cups on it; but, if that's your thing (and you don't expect me to pay for it), go for it!
    Cop Car

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