Another day, another Gwyneth Paltrow trend gone too far. (Kidding! Though she was ahead of the curve on this one.) You might know about cupping because of all the celebrities who have posted about it in recent years, but cupping is actually an ancient Chinese alternative medicine that works by facilitating circulation in the body. Celebs including Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Aniston, Victoria Beckham, and Michael Phelps have all tried the treatment out—and most have sung its praises. Basically, it seems like yet another treatment the rich and powerful have known about for years, and it’s finally trickling down to us regular people. Bless up. To learn more about the treatment that may or may not be responsible for Paltrow and Aniston’s eternal youth, I spoke with Ani Baran, L.Ac at NJ Acupuncture Center. Here’s what I found out.
What Does Cupping Do?
It seems like every celeb-slash-cupping fan has a different reason for loving it: Phelps uses it for muscle recovery, obviously, while Kim Kardashian does it in facial form to reduce wrinkles. What is it actually doing to give such a wide range of results? Baran explains: “Cupping the muscle and other tissues upwards.” This helps to “decrease muscle tension while refreshing blood flow,” which in turn promote muscle healing, relieves pain, and can even help with immunity and digestion. “It’s almost like the equivalent of a deep tissue massage,” Baran added. “But instead of having a trained masseuse knead your muscles to release pain and tension, it uses suction.”
If you’re still wondering how this plays into skin care, don’t worry—I had the same question. According to skincare Guru Nurse Jamie, the key is in the increased blood flow that cupping produces. Apparently, increased blood flow equals stimulated lymphatic system equals reduced inflammation, fine lines, and wrinkles. Yay! Science is hard, but so worth it.
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Yes, yes she WANTED her back to look like this! We swear. It's called cupping and it is used for pain, tightness and chest congestion and if you live in NY you probably have one of those issues. Oh, and it doesn't hurt…we know what you're thinking. Shoutout to @wthn for snapping such a cool pic! Stop by for a cupping session today and say BYE BYE ?? ?? to that pesky back pain!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #balance #flow #acupuncture #selfcare #breathe #dontworrybehappy #healthyliving #healthylifestyle #16thlife #healthyliving #easternmedicine #treatment #needles #cupping #acupuncturefacial #moxa #acupunctureworks #acupuncturetreatment #tcm #painfree #treatmentsforpain #acupuncturist #nyc #erikaweber #nycacupuncutrist #nycacupuncture
Who Would Benefit From Cupping?
According to Baran, “nearly everyone.” And given the fact that improved blood flow and circulation does improve such a wide array of symptoms, that’s probably true. But people who might actually need cupping to improve their day-to-day lives would be elite athletes, or anyone seeking pain or stress relief. Whatever it is, be sure to go in with a clear idea of what you’re seeking to treat. Per Baran, any initial consultation for a cupping appointment will include a discussion of “complaints and goals.” (And no, “not having Gwyneth Paltrow’s skin” is not a valid complaint.)
What’s A Cupping Appointment Like?
Here’s where it gets fun. The main reason we all know about cupping now, despite celebs’ best attempts to keep it for themselves, is that it leaves a telltale mark. Well, marks. As shown in the above Instagram, a cupping appointment leaves you with a series of raised red bumps. I asked Baran to describe a typical cupping session, and here’s what she told me: “You will sit or lay in a comfortable position as cups are applied, typically to larger, flat areas. Using heat or fire, the cups are applied at an angle that creates deep suction, and pulls toxins away from the body as it works deeply into the muscles. Usually the cups are applied for anywhere between 10-20 minutes.”
Sounds easy enough, right? Honestly, Paltrow and others describe the feeling as relaxing, though some other reviewers experienced more pain and discomfort. Ultimately, for how gruesome the treatment looks, I’m glad people aren’t leaving in agony. And yes, I do feel incrementally more desperate to have my toxins flow out into little suction cups every time I look at a picture.
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I need to give a huge thank you to @thestretchboss @belowbodybar and @frankstinsonifbbpro for working the knots out today. It’s been a while since the top half of my body moved like this. The last time I had cupping done, I convinced my kids that I was attacked by the kraken while on my pirate ship. They were upset when I told them the truth a few days later. I think because they had hoped I really was a pirate. Little do they know that I still listen to some of the songs I downloaded from Kazaa back in the day, so I’m still a swashbuckler of sorts. #avastyescallywags #recovery #thestretchboss #cupping
Where Can You Get It Done?
Baran recommends looking to acupuncture centers for this treatment—according to her, that’s “where you’re more likely to find highly trained practitioners who are well versed in this.” As for cost, I surveyed five acupuncture centers that offer the treatment in NYC, and was quoted between $100 and $150 for an initial appointment. It’s worth noting that you may need more than one treatment to get the effects you’re after, but Baran notes that some clients will feel results “in as little as one session.” She also notes that pricing can vary “based on region and the practitioner’s expertise,” so feel free to shop around—but don’t skimp on quality. An amateur could very well leave you with serious burns or bruises, so this is not the time to go for a discount option.
Now that cupping is less mysterious to me, I can’t say it’s less enticing. The logic of improved blood flow and circulation is hard to argue with, and I’ve had good experiences with acupuncture in the past—this seems like an intensified version. I’m certainly not in the “elite athlete” category, but maybe I’ll book a cupping session next time I can’t walk after Barry’s. If it’s good enough for Gwyneth…
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.)
Don’t forget to follow @sanctuaryacu and book your appointment NOW!
Unless you’re a homeschooled jungle freak with no access to the Internet, you know that last week Beyonce announced the names of
our new saviors her newborn twins as Sir & Rumi Carter respectively. Tbh I’m not that impressed. I know she’s a queen and a visionary and blah, blah, blah, but I just expected more from the woman who made an entire fucking album roasting THE HUSBAND SHE’S STILL MARRIED TO. I, mean, Rumi? What’s next, Yahtzee? Trouble? Wait, I’m actually on board with that last one. Trouble Carter. Iconic. Are there any take-backs with birth certificates? Because if so, Bey, have your people call my people 3-4 loyal readers and we can work on trademarking that shit. That said, I do love a good celebrity baby name. And what better way to celebrate the birth of the Beybies than by ranking other celebrity babies based on the names their parents gave them when they were 100 percent hopped up on Xanax? I’ll leave Sir and Rumi off the list… for now. Because I have to draw a line somewhere so I guess I’ll draw it at skewering newborns barely out of the womb. But get ready kids, because one day soon when it’s socially acceptable to make fun of infants, I’ll be coming for ya. As for the rest of you, good fucking luck. Now onto the betchiest baby names in Hollywood:
10. Dusty Rose (Behati Prinsloo & Adam Levine)
I shouldn’t have expected much from the child of a Victoria’s Secret model and a former-boy-band-star-turned-desperate-reality-TV-vocal-coach, but I one hundred percent did not expect that they’d name their firstborn child after Behati’s right nipple (I assume). And this is why I have trust issues right here. Behati, let’s blame this one on the language barrier, shall we? Perhaps you didn’t realize that “dusty” and “rose” are two descriptors usually used to describe shitty bridesmaid dresses or, as I demonstrated earlier, a woman’s nipple. Adam, you get no such fucking excuses. I have a feeling childhood won’t be fun for this one, you know, aside from the model good looks and millions of dollars she’ll inherit. I’m not bitter, you’re bitter. Last place for you,
Areola Dusty Rose.
9. Boomer Phelps (Michael Phelps & Nicole Johnson)
I don’t know what’s worse, naming your child after the shade of your wife’s right nipple or naming your child after the family dog that died when you were 12. When I first heard that the son of the world’s greatest athlete was named Boomer I thought it was a literal joke. Like that one time someone started a rumor that Michael’s girlfriend had a penis. Btw that was v creative, Ryan Lochte, v creative. But apparently, the name Boomer is not a joke but rather a well-thought out decision made by
two adults one adult and someone who’s clearly been poisoned by chlorine.
^ How I imagine Boomer’s going to feel when he gets to middle school and realizes that daddy did indeed name him after a household pet.
8. Kal-El Cage (Nicolas Cage & Alice Kim)
Wait. I know what’s worse now, naming your child after fucking Superman. Seriously, Nicolas Cage? Seriously? I saw every shitty spinoff of National Treasure and this is how you repay me? BYE. I’m giving little Kal-El here eighth place because I have a feeling he’s going to have a hard enough time in life dealing with all the Internet trolls (hi) and Nicolas Cage memes out there, so I’ll give him a pass here. That said:
7. Dream Kardashian (Blac Chyna & Rob Kardashian)
Rumor has it that Rob Kardashian came up with the idea for Dream’s name based off of—get this—a dream he’s always had of having a child. God damn, we have a visionary on our hands here people. Real talk though, how pissed do we think Kris is that she has to not only spin revenge porn but also the name “Dream” into some sort of dynamic branding plan?
6. North West (Kim Kardashian & Kanye West)
We get it, it’s a direction and a play on the last name West. You’re so fucking creative, Kim. But little Northie is barely mid-list for me. I can’t give my exact reasoning for the placement of North West’s name on this highly esteemed list, but I have a feeling it’s the same reasoning that went into my decision not to follow Kim on Instagram (even though I check her feed 5-7 times a day)—I just don’t want to give her the satisfaction, ya know?
5. Saylor James Cutler (Jay Cutler & Kristin Cavallari)
SaYlor Cutler (not Sailor because Kristin is still extra AF) is the daughter of Jay Cutler, a football player (?), and Kristin Cavallari, aka the star Laguna Beach and reason I rocked a short, chunky haircut from the age 18 through 20. It’s also the reason every photo from those years has been untagged on Facebook. Once again, Kristin must insist on taking normal words and names and butchering their pronunciation. Is this why we never saw her at actual school on Laguna Beach? I’m worried that perhaps she never went and now her daughter is paying the price. MTV, can we please confirm? Whatever. Saylor is one of the better, more creative names I’ve heard this year so I guess congrats, Kristin, like my haircut, I’ll keep this name on my Pinterest board for the next 2-5 years.
4. Wyatt Kutcher (Mila Kunis & Ashton Kutcher)
As someone whose mother also wanted to punish her by giving her a boy’s name to walk around life with, I’d just like to say to little Wyatt: good fucking luck with it. And spoiler: my real name is not actually It’s Britney, Betch—shocking, I know. My actual, legal given name is loads of fun because it’s a traditional boy’s name and it’s spelled weird and watching my Bumble dates try and process that information is more of a train wreck than watching them process the words “what are we?” Thanks for that, mom! But back to Wyatt, she’s number four on my list because I feel a sense of camaraderie with the kid. Like, we’re both in this together, except she’s a toddler that hit the genetic jackpot of good looks, personality, and money, and I’m just a girl with an Internet pseudonym and savage jokes. You know, similar but different.
3. Liam James Tell (Lauren Conrad & William Tell)
A normal name, imagine fucking that. Once again, LC wins at life by giving her child a classic fuckboy name and we’re into it. This kid is going to be a player, I can already see it. Picture the year 2034, the location is Cabo, and little Liam James is calling Saylor a slut for dancing on the bar. MTV, if you’re reading this, I can’t wait for Laguna Beach: The Next Generation.
2. Penelope Disick (Kourtney Kardashian & Scott Disick)
Leave it to Kourtney to come up with a name I’d be obsessed with. I was skeptical when she named Mason (it sounded too similar to a fuckboy I dated in college, in the sense that it is same name as the fuckboy I dated in college) and I can’t even with the name Reign. Clearly, Scott was blackout when he got to name that one. But I’m obsessed with Penelope. It’s unique but still adorably normal. It’s nice that she has a good, strong name to get her through life because reading about how daddy fucked a washed up Disney star Bella Thorne while she was home with Khloe is going to be a tough pill to swallow in middle school. Good luck, girl!
1. Jack Pratt (Anna Faris & Chris Pratt)
I know what you’re thinking, “Jack? But it’s so basic, so common, and it’s not even, like, spelled with an X.” And thank fucking god for that. I’m so over celebrities and their batshit baby names. Just think about it: there’s going to be an entire generation of children named Apple and Bear. APPLE AND BEAR. Seriously, during
my research for this article the 3-5 hours I spend a night googling useless information, I discovered that in the past few years there have been FOUR celebrity children named Bear. And in my opinion, that’s four too many. I, mean, what’s next? Offred? Ofglen? Wait, nvm, I don’t like playing this game anymore.
Yep, I stand by my decision with Jack. Plus, any offspring of Andy Dwyer’s is someone I’ll stalk on social media a winner in my book. And if you don’t believe me, go check out Chris Pratt’s Instagram account–but only if you want your ovaries to melt from the cuteness.
Chris Pratt: *casually mentions son on social media*
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