Cupping Massages: Hickeys For Adults!

My first foray into alternative medicine was super-sexy.
Publish date:
September 26, 2013
holistic, chinese medicine, alternative medicine, cupping, Lanshin, ortho-bionomy

I love giving hickeys. I used to illustrate entire comics on my boyfriends' stomachs using just suction and their pasty-ass skin. Then I started dating old hairy dudes and that all went to hell. Actually, Dude totally loved going around with hickeys on his 34-year-old neck as evidence to his fellow grease dads that he was getting it on with teen meat.

They're so neat! Like snowflakes, no two are ever the same! And like a caterpillar blossoms into a butterfly, they evolve from a little red smudge to a spotted purple, blue and green masterpiece borne of love and mixing different types of liquors.

ANYWAY. I hadn't gotten a hickey in forever, as it's FROWNED UPON in our TOTALLY BASIC adult society, and was starting to build a resistance to the physical act of being sucked upon. Then I went to Lanshin in Williamsburg for a holistic facial and experienced cupping, or "suction therapy."

Lanshin is a health and wellness center (not your traditional "spa") that incorporates traditional Chinese medicine (acupuncture, cupping, herbs) with Ortho-Bionomy (body re-alignment through gentle movements and positioning) to improve what's going on inside your body so that the outside can look super-hot (parentheses).

My aversion to needles has been well-documented on this site, so I had to forgo the acupuncture during my facial appointment. Although, after meeting with my hotter-than-ever friend last week (HuffPost Style editor, it's whatever), who's been doing acupuncture on the reg, I'm starting to think about nutting up and just getting some super-long needles pricked into my skin.

I instead experienced the Ortho-Bionomy, after the gorgeous Sandra Lanshin (no relation... just kidding) noticed that I might need some work in my pelvic region, as I was experiencing breakouts around my mouth. She said that each part of the face corresponds with a different part of the body, so when my chin was freaking out, that meant that my guts between my hipbones were a bit off. (Back to Sandra for a second: what a great representation of how her treatments translate to the beauty-on-the-outside facet of the results. She laughed and said that she was "much older" than me, but had the smoothest, most glowing skin ever. No makeup either!)

The session was extremely gentle. I laid on a padded table, adjusting my position as she suggested relaxing poses for me to rest in. Once I found the one that felt the most awesome, she'd move my arm a centimeter to the left, or lift my thigh muscle and move it slightly to the right. I was lying there the whole time thinking it was nonsense until I left and could actually FEEL a difference in my body. My joints were a bit sore, but I felt that lively pep that you get strolling around Brooklyn, unabashedly wearing hot pants after a week of really great workouts and healthy eating.

Then she went to town with the cupping, which I had always assumed would just consist of the bulbous glass domes being placed onto my back and left to sit for a few minutes. No, I got a cupping massage; she sucked my skin up into the dome (you hear some mechanical pumping and clicking noises--very chill), and then slid them over my back.

I've never ever had a massage of any kind before, so I've nothing to compare it to, but the cupping felt truly amazing--like a never-ending hickey with no teeth or saliva. The practice purportedly relieves tension and helps extract toxins from your mushy body tissues, which I can neither confirm nor deny, but if nothing else, it feels really great and leaves you with awesome purple, spotted hickeys. Seriously, I've no desire to ever experience a traditional massage, but will jump at the chance to be suction-cupped once more.

So, this has been my first foray into alternative medicine. Has anybody else tried acupuncture and herbs to remedy their acne? I've read miraculous testimonials on how this stuff has cured cystic acne and psoriasis and even chronic congestion. Problem is, straight up: stuff is expensive. I mean, I don't get pedicures or buy handbags or have children, but I'm the kind of girl that spends $75 on a single session of pilates two or three times a week. I'm not a trustfunder by any means, but I could make this work if I really wanted to.

Thoughts? Are you a full-grown a adult that still gives hickeys?