Apr 3, 2016

Alternative Medicine: Acupuncture + Cupping 

I harbor a deep curiosity toward natural and holistic health. For some reason, I find “unconventional” modalities that offer alternatives to modern pharmaceuticals to be (a) less abrasive, (b) less invasive and (c) less expensive.

Using natural remedies to heal the body makes sense to me – it connects the mortal roots to the immortal “Source.” Don’t get me wrong, I believe in modern medicine. It saves lives and eliminates serious pain, which is a beautiful and valuable gift, especially in emergency situations. But – I passionately think that when available and appropriate, holistic healing is superior. There is an esoteric power in nature which transcends the somatic experience and nurtures the mind, body and spirit.

Modern medicine heals from the outside in (externally) and is limited to a finite expression.

Holistic medicine heals from the inside out (internally) and holds infinite expressions.

Recently, I experienced a new alternative medicine therapy: acupuncture and cupping. Here are the details:


Dr. D

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Two Hour Initial Assessment and Treatment: $106


  • Interview to discuss concerns and expectations for treatment
  • Acupuncture
    • “Stimulate[s] energy flow (Qi) throughout the body and by doing so enhance[s] the body’s natural tendency towards wellness and healing.”  (Source)
    • “Beyond the general stress relief and relaxation benefits, acupuncture also offers relief for a variety of other health conditions.  It has been shown to ease back aches, boost the effectiveness of certain medications, sooth indigestion, counteract radiation side effects, relieve persistent headaches, even stimulate weightless.” (Source)
  • E-Stim
    • “Electroacupuncture provides additional stimulation to the acupuncture points by passing a low frequency electrical current between two needles.  In traditional acupuncture, the needle is stimulated only upon insertion and is then left in place.  However, practitioners discovered that patients – particularly those suffering from chronic pain – can benefit from continued movement.  Therefore, E-stim utilizes a small device to generate continuous electric pulses that stimulate the needles and provide continued relief.”  (Source)
  • Cupping
    • Using heat and glass cups, it “stimulate[s] the flow of the body’s blood, chi, and lymph all of which stimulate healing.” (Source) It brings the blood to the surface and allows the lymphatic system to drain old, stagnant blood.
  • Gua Sha
    • By lightly pressing a piece of jade against the skin, this homeopathic therapy stimulates circulation. “As the affected area is scraped, the body produces minor hemorrhaging beneath the skin as stagnant blood is released.  Though Gua Sha massage may produce temporary bruising, the technique relieves tight muscles and is known to produce deep relaxation.” (Source).


Wednesday March 30, 2016 at 3:30pm


180medspa / Winter Park, FL

Final Thoughts: 

About a week ago, I arrived an hour early for a yoga class and had some time to spare. Located in the same parking lot as the yoga studio was a medspa (how convenient). If you know me, or if you’ve been following my blog, you know I am a sucker for a spa! Obviously, I moseyed myself over to investigate. The women in the spa were delightful. I didn’t have an appointment, but they shuffled me around station to station explaining the different services. One of the women was Dr. D – the acupuncturist. We chatted a little and I booked an appointment for the following week.

I didn’t really know why I “needed” acupuncture. I know people use it to treat a wide range of ailments, but I generally consider myself ailment free. I went into my treatment with some vague ideas of “what to fix” and decided it was preventative care – the best kind of self-care. After filling out the paperwork and chatting with Dr. D, we decided to target muscle tension and general mental stresses and anxieties.

The treatment itself was very relaxing. I laid face down on the treatment table while Dr. D used new, disposable acupuncture needles to work her magic. The needles didn’t hurt, per se, but I did feel them going into my skin. I wouldn’t call the sensation painful by any definition. Once I reached porcupine status, Dr D started electroacupunture – I felt “plugged-in,” also, not painful. Next, Dr. D positioned the cups on my back. She made sure I was comfortable and left the room (she gave me a bell to ring if I needed something) while I took a little 25-minute siesta.

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The removal of the cups and needles was painless – actually, I really liked how the cupping felt. Once all the needles and cups were plucked, she used two additional techniques: gua sha and moving cupping. Both were extremely relaxing and comfortable. Once treatment was done, I was given a few moments of privacy to re-dress and to admire my new beauty marks. Call me weird, but I kind of think the cupping marks are the best part!

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Before leaving, Dr. D spent time explaining what she did and made recommendations for follow-up treatments. I had a little pain lingering in my right shoulder so she used a needle-less acupuncture machine to help reduce the pain before I left. Insta relief!

Overall, this traditional Chinese therapy has potential to treat and balance physical and mental wellness. After one treatment, it is difficult to say that it synthesized the energetic layers of my auric field and cured my somatic discomforts. But, I did feel a shift and I plan to continue with bi-weekly treatments. I definitely recommend a visit to Dr. D!


Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I did not get compensated nor did I receive free-services to write this post. All opinions are my own and based on personal experience. This blog is intended for entertainment purposes only.

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