What I Did: Survived the Week

How was everyone’s week? Is anyone else as relieved as I am that it’s finally the weekend?

As I mentioned in a recent post, I’m slowly going broke with chiropractor and acupuncture appointments. While I think there have been some benefits to the treatments, headache relief hasn’t been one of them, which is the main reason I went. On the plus side, we’ve figured out what’s causing my headache pain. I have a vertebrae or two in my neck that prefer to be out of place because I have crazy, disgustingly tight muscles in my shoulders. Apparently I carry all my stress in my shoulders, and I’m apparently a very stressed person. I truly don’t consider myself to be all that stressed. I guess my shoulders are taking all of it!

After multiple chiropractic visits a week, I’ve started to decrease my visits with the intention to wean myself down to once a month or less. My chiropractor said she’s done what she can and it’s kind of up to my neck to get with the program. Well, and me making an effort to have better posture. She transitioned me to her acupuncturist, who started out with the typical acupuncture treatment. But we have quickly realized that my woes aren’t totally treatable with needles. It was time for the next Eastern medicine technique.

Cupping.

Don’t know what cupping is? Well, if you watched the most recent season of the CBS show The Amazing Race, you might remember the episode (episode 9) where contestants had to get a number of Eastern medicine treatments, one of which was cupping, during one of their challenges. You can watch this video clip right around the 14- to 18-second mark for an idea of what cupping is.

When my acupuncturist first mentioned it, I was TERRIFIED. All I could think of was the blood-curdling screams and flowing tears from the Amazing Race. I eventually told her how terrified I was after she had spent several minutes telling me how perfect the treatment would be for my shoulder tightness. To try to ease my fears, she quickly demonstrated the procedure on her arm, and then did it on my arm too. Here’s what happens: She soaks a cotton ball in alcohol, holds it with a pair of skinny tongs, lights it on fire, quickly puts it into a glass jar and pulls it out, then places the glass jar against the skin. The lack of air left in the jar after the fire has done its job turns the jar into a vacuum, so it sucks your skin (and your muscles under the skin) into the jar. She didn’t leave it on my arm for more than a few seconds, but I was able to experience the feeling, which was nowhere near as painful as what the Amazing Race contestants went through.

Today was my first actual cupping treatment. Because I’m super pale and pasty, my acupuncturist warned me that I’d most likely have pretty severe bruising after the treatment. She used eight jars of varying sizes on my shoulders and upper back. As she started attaching them to my back, she said, “Yeah, you’re definitely going to bruise.”

And she was totally right.

The pain wasn’t that bad. I wouldn’t describe it as enjoyable, unless you are someone who finds things like deep tissue massages enjoyable. This was less painful than a deep tissue massage. And I’m not sore at all right now, like I would be if I had gotten a deep tissue massage. But a deep tissue massage doesn’t leave bruises that look like purple pepperonis on my back, so I guess it’s a toss-up.

Thank goodness I’m not wearing any fancy dresses or tank tops in the near future.

I almost considered posting a photo of my back, but looking at it in the mirror almost makes me pass out (I’m a total wuss with those things), so I decided to spare you the super grossness. If you want to see what the result looks like, try Google. And then thank me for not posting any photos. Even Dan thought it was pretty gross.

Instead, I’ll post some pics of Dig, who recently got a haircut.

Digger the Maltipoo | whatlindseylikes

Digger the Maltipoo | whatlindseylikes

Digger the Maltipoo | whatlindseylikes

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2 thoughts on “What I Did: Survived the Week

    • It’s a little too soon to tell, but it did seem like it helped to loosen up my shoulders a bit. While the bruising looked pretty disgusting, it healed quickly. Unfortunately due to scheduling conflicts, I haven’t had my second cupping experience yet…but I will tomorrow. I told my acupuncturist that I’d like to focus more on that rather than regular acupuncture, based on my needs, and she was totally open to that. So I think I’ll do cupping once a week for a few weeks and see what happens! I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to do deep tissue massage to really fix the issue…Not looking forward to that!

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