When you think of acupuncture, you probably think of two things: needles to the face, and your weird alternative friend who shadily doesn’t believe in vaccines. Well, like most stereotypes, this is not really correct. Acupuncture has been around forever and isn’t like, some back-alley shit you turn to in a moment of desperation. Well, I mean, maybe you’re desperate, but my point is it’s a legit science that’s been proven to help with so many issues like pain, digestive issues, and sleep. Acupuncturists have to go through a lot of schooling before they can practice—a three- to four-year masters program, to be exact. So yeah, we’re going to bust some common acupuncture myths thanks to our friends from Sanctuary Acupuncture & Holistic Health in NYC.
We were lucky enough to have Sanctuary Acupuncture & Holistic Health come to our office, where they offered a variety of services. We tried out ear acupuncture and cupping. These are our stories. EXECUTIVE PRODUCER DICK WOLF. Oh wait. That’s not right. Moving on.
First of all, acupuncture doesn’t have to be needles all over your body. It can be if you’re into that, but it’s not necessary. If you want the same rest and digest benefits of all-over acupuncture, but like, you can’t sit with your facial muscles completely still for an extended period of time (hi), you can do ear acupuncture. The acupuncturist will stick five needles in various parts of your ear and leave them chilling in there for about 10-20 minutes. I know what you’re thinking, and it hurts wayyyy less than getting your cartilage pierced, so it’s a pretty painless experience. Afterwards, they can continue the treatment and put gold ear seeds or crystals in the same points. It helps prolong the benefits of the acupuncture AND you get to feel like one of those super edgy people with multiple ear piercings even if you secretly cry at night listening to Taylor Swift.
I specifically told the acupuncturist that I wanted help clearing my sinuses, and I shit you not, I stopped sniffling so damn much during the procedure. I’m not saying acupuncture works miracles, but I am saying I might book another appointment when I feel a sinus infection coming on. So like, the second I step outside today. If you want the full benefits of acupuncture but you’re a little commitment phobic, try ear acupuncture as your gateway.
You probably remember vaguely hearing about cupping back during the last Olympics, when Michael Phelps showed up with perfectly round bruises all over his body that made us think, “Damn, who gave Michael Phelps all those hickies?” The answer: ancient Chinese alternative medicine. Cupping was developed thousands of years ago, and it is the practice of putting special cups on your skin to create suction (hence the hickies). It can be use for pain, inflammation, blood flow, relaxation, and, in the case of Michael Phelps, winning gold medals.
Okay, so cupping won’t directly help you win gold medals, but it definitely didn’t hurt. Basically, if you spend 90% of your week rubbing your shoulders and screaming about how you need a massage, cupping is for you. Funnily enough, cupping is actually the opposite of a massage in that it uses pressure to suck the muscles upward, rather than pull them down. Tons of celebs are obsessed with cupping, including Jennifer Aniston, Lady Gaga, and Victoria Beckham, so if you’re worried about the marks, don’t be. They’re literally a status symbol at this point. (But also if you’re going to an event and are wearing a backless dress or something, you can just tell the specialist and she’ll place the cups strategically for you. NBD.)
In today’s world there’s no shortage of batshit people doing batshit things in their quest to look younger and hotter than their younger sister that sells lip kits. Speaking of Kim Kardashian, in a moment of weakness, aka the three hours I spend at night
checking emails scrolling through my Snapchat feed until I pass out, I noticed Kimmy added facial cupping to her beauty regimen. Because I Keep Up am shameless, I immediately had to know everything. Why was she resorting to a more natural method for skin rejuvenation? Was it the robbery? Is that why she’s more “real”? Or did the family plastic surgeon finally draw a line in the Calabasas sand after working around the clock on them for 375 days of the year? So many questions.
But let’s start with the name, shall we? Facial cupping. It sounds like some sort of weird foreplay my overly sensitive ex-boyfriend from college would have been into.
But you probably heard of it back in the early 2000s—it’s what Jennifer Aniston was blaming all of her hickies on and we were all just like “Sure, Jan.” Well apparently we should have been paying attention because while we were out buying body glitter and clip-on hair extensions from Claire’s, Jen found the fountain of fucking youth.
What Is Facial Cupping:
Similar to body cupping, a phenomenon made popular (?) by famous
amphibian Olympian Michael Phelps, facial cupping sucks sections of your face to “improve skin circulation, encourage lymph drainage, tone tissue that is flaccid, and relax tightness.” Basically it gives your skin more glow than J Lo’s and makes your face look tighter than Megan Fox’s the moment she realized directors stopped casting her as “hot girl” in movies. So, like, sign me up.
How It Works:
Facial technicians drag a small suction cup up the side of your face, gliding the cup along your neck, cheekbone, and under-eye area. They then release the suction and repeat the process until you’re pretty. Users say it’s supposed to feel like either a massage or like someone’s sucking on your face. So there’s that to look forward to.
Will The Treatment Give You More Hickies Than A Fuckboy On Tinder?:
Nah, girl. Unlike body cupping, facial cupping doesn’t leave those giant red and purple bruises on your body, just #flawless skin. Sorry, you’re gonna have to start blaming those hickies on your “curling iron” again.
Who’s Doing It:
Turns out Jennifer Aniston and Kim Kardashian aren’t the only ones to
make a deal with the devil try out this beauty treatment. Gywneth Paltrow, Miranda Kerr, and Lindsey Ellingson (a model, apparently) are all hyping this product more than teenage girls with a new Justin Bieber album. I’m sure they’re only about it because it comes from an “ancient eastern medicine practice” and it’s, like, so natural because they’re natural girls with natural bodies and a natural fuck ton of money. Got it.
If you want to look like Miranda Kerr, then a visit to her face specialist will cost you $300+ a session. But if you’re
on a budget poor and want to pay half the price to look one-eighth as good then there are at-home kits for $26 where you can do it yourself. Whatever, there’s worse shit I’ve used my mother’s Amazon Prime account to purchase.
Just please, for the love of God, do NOT try a DIY version with a vaccuum cleaner. We all remember how the Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge ended—let’s not have a repeat.