If You’ve Got Back Pain, Try This Unusual Treatment

by | Feb 2019

Heated glass containers are placed on a person's back in a practice known as cupping.


Have you tried cupping?

We’re fortunate to live in a community where we have a variety of resources to help us maintain and improve our health. We live in a time where Western medicine and Eastern medicine are finding ways to co-exist and complement each other. As a writer, I spend a lot of time on my computer. And as someone who dislikes exercise, I don’t do enough stretching and muscle work to combat the damage done by sitting for long periods. When my back and shoulder pain started to become an issue, I decided to try something new. At Balance Acupuncture & Wellness Center in Excelsior, acupuncturist Stephanie Ykema-Stunes suggested we try cupping: Little glass containers are used in conjunction with a flame to create suction when placed on your skin. I could feel the heat of the flame, but it wasn’t uncomfortable. The suction the cup created was firm but not painful. I wondered how something so simple could loosen my extremely tight muscles—but it did the job. When I got up from the table after my cupping treatment, I could already feel my back and shoulders relaxing. For a few days, my back looked like I had a run-in with an octopus, but it didn’t hurt. It’s great to explore different—even unusual—treatments for what ails us.

Local media maven Natalie Webster specializes in experiences that often push her outside of her comfort zone and helps others stretch themselves, too. 


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