An introduction to facial cupping and what you need before you try it at home | Today Headlines

An introduction to facial cupping and what you need before you try it at home

| Breaking News Updates | abc News

In the wild world of “wellness” fashions, the line between health and beauty is blurred. This is especially true for Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practices like gua sha and facial cupping which have been rebranded on TikTok as steps in a skin care routine.

While these practices can and often do have pleasing aesthetic results, in traditional Chinese medicine, facial cupping is much more than a beauty treatment, said Paige Yang, a licensed acupuncturist and doctor of acupuncture and Chinese medicine.

“In traditional Chinese medicine, we work on channels and meridians,” Dr. Yang, owner of Yang Face, told HuffPost. “At first glance, there are a lot of channels that relate to our internal organ systems. [Facial cupping] will open the channels, open the meridians and help if there are blockages in any of these channels.

According to Dr. Yang, in traditional Chinese medicine, organs are viewed as interconnected systems with their own emotions, colors, scents and spirits associated with them. Channels and meridians flow through these systems, circulating blood, qi (life energy), and other bodily fluids around the body.

While facial cupping might seem like another fun DIY beauty tip, Dr. Yang recommends learning more holistically before taking the plunge. “Learn the origins of the practice because it will deepen your own practice,” she said. “To have the full context of the origins, what it was traditionally and culturally intended for.”

So, what is the facial suction cup?

If you remember the purple markings on swimmer Michael Phelps at the 2016 Olympics or the brown circles on Gwyneth Paltrow in 2004, you may already be familiar with the ancient practice of body cupping. According to Dr. Yang, cupping, whether on the body or the face, is a form of “negative pressure massage,” or uses suction to lift parts of the body, rather than downward pressure like a deep tissue massage.

While body suction cups generally use fire or heat to create a vacuum effect in spherical glass or ceramic suction cups, facial suction cups use more malleable cone-shaped suction cups or glass suction cups with a plastic suction cup. and without heat. It was born during the Qing Dynasty under Empress Dowager Cixi – who was passionate about beauty – as a practice of gentler cupping.

“Of course there is no fire, as it will burn the face,” Dr Yang told HuffPost. “What’s most commonly used is a type of silicone suction cup, where you can vacuum manually without needing a flame, then sweep or slide a suction cup along your face. “

While the suction cup was historically used to “expel external ailments” like pathogens, it has been shown to be effective for acute illnesses (like a cold or fever) and muscle pain, according to Dr. Yang.

“They saw a huge increase in blood flow,” she said. “It brings the stagnant qi and blood to the surface and helps the body to circulate it, so that the new qi and blood can then come in and help that part of the body return to normal.”

Like body cups, facial cups use “negative” or reverse pressure to increase circulation and relieve tension in the face. “Because it’s massaging that reverse pressure, those tight muscles and knots that might get on your face around the jawbone and around the sinuses as well – it’s going to unroll and sort it out,” she said. .

Cosmetic dermatologist Michele S. Green, MD, said facial cupping can help lymphatic drainage, soothing inflammation and reducing puffiness on the face.

“Aspiration causes blood vessels to dilate and increases circulation, ultimately reducing swelling and increasing skin glow,” Dr. Green told HuffPost.. “Doing the treatment at bedtime can reduce the appearance of a swollen face caused by water retention at night.

What to know before the facial suction cup at home:

While your favorite beauty or skincare influencer, TikToker, may suggest getting a Face Cupping Kit from a trendy Goop-esque brand or beauty store, Dr Yang and Dr Green both suggest doing your homework before you start. Although suction cups can have cosmetic effects, they is medical practice, and therefore requires specialized care.

“A lot of brands are unrelated to the drug and its traditions,” Dr Yang said. “Because they don’t have the training, they don’t recognize and often they don’t even know the risks, the warnings and the contraindications.”

If you have recently received Botox, you should wait three weeks before proceeding with a suction cup. If you have had any filling, wait six weeks. “You just don’t want your load shifted,” Dr Yang said. “Or the Botox has to be absorbed in the areas where you didn’t want it to be absorbed because the suction cups moved these toxins onto your face.”

Watch out for open wounds, open acne, herpes, or other rashes, and completely avoid cupping if you have been sunburned or have recently undergone other medical spa procedures like microdermabrasion, chemical peels or the micro-needle, Dr Yang said. You should also be extra careful if you are taking blood thinners or antihypertensives.

“Cupping can cause bruising depending on how you clot,” she said. “So if you’re taking blood thinners or blood thinners, anything that’s going to thin the blood or make the blood clot more, these are things that are going to be important. We don’t want anyone to have lightheadedness or lightheadedness from the sudden rush of blood on their face.

She also said that within traditional Chinese medicine, there is a debate about facial cupping and pregnancy. “The teacher I learned with was really conservative and she said there were no facial cups during pregnancy,” Dr Yang said. “It sends a lot of blood to the face and away from the uterus.”

Dr Green added that people with sensitive skin or skin conditions may want to avoid cupping altogether. “A A method of physical manipulation like this can cause skin irritation or worsen skin conditions such as rosacea and acne, ”she said. “Facial cupping, if done improperly, can cause capillary ruptures and bruises. In addition, repetitive vacuuming can break the collagen fibers in the skin.

If you are interested in facial cupping but are not sure how to do it on your own, facialist Ildi Pekar suggests doing it professionally. A qualified practitioner will make sure your cupping is consistent.

If you are planning on trying this at home, here’s how to choose an at-home facial suction cup kit:

Instead of following the suggestions of a beauty blogger or “lifestyle guru” without any actual certification, Dr Yang suggests looking for workshops, videos or online training from medical professionals. Traditional Chinese Licensed as Emily Grace Acupuncture, Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine and Licensed. acupuncturist (L.Ac.) or Sandra Lanshin Chiu, L.Ac.

These experts may sell their own facial cupping kits or other traditional Chinese medicine treatment instruments (like gua sha tools or face rollers) or have suggestions on where you can find them. Small AAPI-owned businesses like Luminae, Lanshin, and 6BabyBeauty are all run by trained traditional Chinese medicine experts.

“Buy from a genuine supplier, lineage learner, or someone with that culture and heritage,” Dr Yang said. “Make sure you’re supporting these types of brands so that they then come to life in authentic practice, rather than hopping on Amazon or supporting a culturally appropriate brand. “

While you may see glass facial cupping kits on the market, Dr. Yang suggests sticking with silicone, especially if you’re new to facial cupping. Because silicone is more malleable and tolerant, it’s easier to work with as you learn the techniques. Additionally, silicone kits can be cleaned with soap and water and then air dried.

In addition to a silicone kit, experts agree that it is important to also have a sufficient amount of cream or oil. Since suction cups use suction, it is important to make sure that the suction cups can slide easily and will not pull or stick painfully to your face. While you can have any moisturizer or face oil you like, Dr Yang and Pekar agree that “homemade” oils like avocado or grapeseed that you have in your kitchen will do the trick, too. .

Once you’ve learned the origins of the practice, purchased a silicone kit, and found a tutorial to follow from a certified Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner or lineage learner, Dr. Yang suggests setting an intention. positive for your cupping practice.

“I have noticed in my patients that when their intention is more focused on celebrating a part of themselves, they perform better than if their intention is to think that they are broken and need to be fixed.” , she said. While it may seem silly or unnecessary, Dr. Yang shares that having a calm and loving approach to cupping will make the practice more effective.

Again, because facial cupping is a medical practice, you want to make sure that you take a tutorial or workshop from a traditional Chinese medicine expert or lineage learner. To help you get started with your facial cupping practice, we’ve put together some tools you can use around the house.

HuffPost may receive a share of purchases made through links on this page. Each item is independently selected by the HuffPost Shopping team. Prices and availability are subject to change.

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