Olympics spark interest in cupping
As an athlete, acupuncturist Kristen Wood found relief in Oriental medicine when she injured herself in her 20s. That’s what inspired her to open her own practice, Snow Blossom Acupuncture, in 2010, where she decided to incorporate cupping too. “Cupping is such an amazing therapy because it is easier on your body instead of doing massage,” Wood said. “It really helps to go deep and loosen up the muscles and increase the circulation to help the healing process.”
At the Alaska Institute for Oriental Medicine, Acupuncture and Massage Therapy, instructor Cynthia McMullen has been teaching cupping for more than a decade. Students in her massage therapy class regularly practice on each other and sport round, purple suction cup marks, the telltale signs of treatment. “Now that it’s popularized at the Olympics I’ll proudly wear my cupping marks and invite people to see me and get a cupping experience,” said student Shanti Trevelyan. McMullen and Wood anticipate the games will continue to spark an interest in people curious about cupping and the benefits of alternative medicine.