For those of you who don’t know me personally, I have been riding horses and competing at a national level since I was eight years old. For all of middle school, high school, and the first two years at university, my life revolved around showing horses. I loved every minute of it and still miss it. However, there is typically a price for competing that regularly for so long and mine has been back pain since a young age.
When I was about 13 years old, I had a bad fall off of an extremely tall horse and I landed directly onto my back. Ever since then, my back has never been the same. For years I have seen chiropractors, physical therapists, massage therapists, and for a while the pain will stop, but it eventually comes back.
Two years ago I started seeing a physical therapist and received dry needling two days a week for about a year. Most people think dry needling is painful, I thought it felt amazing having the tension alleviate. However, it just wasn’t something I wanted to keep up with long term so after a year I stopped.
I had heard about cupping in the health and fitness community, but I never thought of it as something I would do. If you are unfamiliar with cupping, it is a therapy that is most common among athletes. You have probably seen athletes at the Olympics with round redish-purple spots on their back, particularly Michael Phelps. The round dark spots are caused by cupping. Some people use silicone and some use glass. The round looking jars are suction cupped onto your back until blood flow becomes increased in that spot. This causes the round spots on your back. The darker the spot, the more inflammation you have. As the spots heal, toxins are released from the body causing the back and neck pain to subside.
It might be a little weird that I love cupping so much. When I started seeing a naturopath several months ago, she suggested I try acupuncture and cupping for my neck and back pain. Luckily, her husband is a certified acupuncturist so I didn’t have to go far to find someone. I had never received acupuncture before and it is so relaxing to have it and then get the cupping procedure right after. It is definitely something I look forward to doing every week.
I have noticed a major difference in my back pain. My neck pain is a little more stubborn but it has decreased dramatically since starting the cupping. Because of my years of struggle with back and neck pain, it has been great to find something that works so well and feels great too! I typically hold stress in my neck and I sit at a desk three days a week for 8 hours each day. So for anyone that has back and neck pain, I highly recommend trying cupping!
If you live in the Winston-Salem, NC area, I will link below my acupuncturist and certified cupping therapist. Please use my contact page if you have any further questions about my cupping experience!
Dr. Keoni Teta, ND, LAc – http://naturalhealthprescriptions.com/