Tag Archives: detoxification

Michael Phelps Does Cupping, Should You?

The Rio Olympics brought some curious attention to an ancient practice that started on the other side of the globe when Michael Phelps stood on the swimming podium and showed off his new temporary tattoos, er, cup marks. Helped him win some more gold, too.  So what is cupping and how can it help you?
According to Acupuncture Today, cupping is one of the oldest methods of Traditional Chinese Medicine.  In China, cupping is used primarily to treat respiratory conditions such as bronchitis, asthma, and congestion; arthritis; gastrointestinal disorders; and certain types of pain. Some practitioners also use cupping to treat depression and reduce swelling. I have found that it can have calming and balancing effect on the nervous system when used along the spinal muscles. And it is most effective for those with tight, painful conditions of the back, shoulders and neck. Patients that work hunched over, such as drivers, beauticians and dental hygienists really  benefit from cupping. Usually I will use cups on the back, shoulders or abdomen and may combine it with gua-sha, which is easier to use on smaller areas such as the neck and forearms.
How does it work?

In a typical cupping session, glass cups are warmed using a cotton ball which is soaked in alcohol, lit, then temporarily placed inside the cup to remove the oxygen, which creates a vacuum.The cup is turned upside-down and placed over a specific area. The vacuum created by the lack of oxygen anchors the cup to the skin and pulls it upward on the inside of the glass as the air inside the jar cools. Drawing up the skin is believed to open up the skin’s pores, which helps to stimulate the flow of blood, balances and realigns the flow of qi, breaks up obstructions, and creates an avenue for toxins to be drawn out of the body.  The cups may be left in place for 5-10 minutes, or may be moved around with a technique called “sliding cupping”.

Is it safe?

 While cupping is considered relatively safe  it can cause some swelling and  may result in small, circular bruises on the areas where the cups were applied. These bruises are usually painless, however, and disappear within a few days to a week of treatment.

Can I get cupping without acupuncture?

Specifically for those who may be nervous about acupuncture I offer a 60 minute Chinese Medical Cupping and Tui-Na Combination Therapy for $120. This therapy combines two of the most therapeutic non-acupuncture tools of the Chinese Medicine system for relieve muscle soreness and increasing flexibility.

In this treatment, cupping therapy is then followed with Tui-Na. This hands on treatment involves manipulation of myofascial tissue, incorporates acupressure, and helps to re-align muscles, tendons and ligaments. This strongly encourages a harmonious flow of qi through the muscles and meridians. This combined therapy loosens up tight, sore muscles, increases joint flexibility and will leave you feeling relaxed and invigorated. You can call our office or schedule this therapy online by clicking here:

Schedule a Cupping /Tui Na Therapy

Difficult losing fat? This may be the cause.

At Functional Health and Acupuncture Institute in Cherry Hill, NJ we help people with chronic health issues identify the root causes of their conditions using traditional tools of Chinese Medicine and modern principles of Functional Medicine.

One factor that often complicates chronic illness is the rising rates of obesity we see in society.  Despite people’s efforts at eating a healthy diet and exercise to lose fat, they may still be resistant to losing weight. One reason for this is the levels of toxins in their system may be very high.   And there is one little unknown fact that will prevent millions of people from ever losing fat. According to the US government this one thing is the considered the number one pollutant in the human body and will put a quick halt to ever reaching your desired level of fitness and fat loss.

One of the major causes of the obesity epidemic is the unprecedented level of phthalates or plasticizers in our lives. The problem with these toxic environmental chemicals is the fact that they are difficult to impossible to avoid. In fact they are found in every species even in the most pristine wild.

Phthalates are the highest pollutant in the body being over 10,000 times higher than any of the thousands of other environmental toxins. They are found throughout our homes in items such as soda and infant formula bottles, food packaging, cosmetics, nail polish, mattresses, couches, carpets, clothing, medications, styrofoam cups, vinyl flooring, construction materials, home wiring, computers, industrial and auto exhausts. In fact they are so pervasive that now children six years of age have levels that used to take adults until the age of 40 to accumulate.

These toxins are largely stored in fat stores to protect our vital organs. It would be unsafe to have these chemicals released in circulation so they are stored away in fat. The overwhelming amount of toxins, called phthalates, accumulated in the body shocks the body’s natural ability to depollute them, resulting in the inability to lose weight. These pollutants have also been linked to complications when treating chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and diabetes to name a few.


How to detoxify these chemicals?

Phthalates are virtually impossible to avoid as they are contained in foods, water bottles and body lotions. The best most people can do is to be certain they are doing everything they can to effectively and efficiently eliminate their build-up in the body.

One of the key ingredients to ridding the body of these harmful toxins is first to do what you can to avoid them.  Stop drinking out of styrofoam cups and plastic bottles. Eat 1-2 servings per day from the Brassica family vegetables like brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, kale and arugula, as this will help the liver detoxify phthalates. Supplements also exist that can confer many of the benefits of these foods.  You can also use a far infrared sauna to help sweat out toxins.

I also recommend a formal detoxification program twice a year to help the liver clear out the body’s chemical burden.  This consists of a 3 week period of eating a very clean diet along with providing specific nutrients that the liver uses to conduct its Phase I and Phase II detoxification processes.  A formal three-week detoxification will not only help eliminate toxins, but also can help reset your metabolism and improve immune heath. Here at Functional Health and Acupuncture Institute, we offer a variety of detoxification programs that are helpful to everyone and vital to anyone experiencing autoimmune disease, chronic illness, or those just looking to look and feel their best.