Open House Coming Up

Snow is on the horizon, we’re almost finished with Thanksgiving leftovers, and Christmas decorations are up.  Okay, so the average Christmas decoration has been up since Halloween, but mine are just now going up, so that’s what I’m going by.  We are now officially in the holiday season.

Here at Innovative Aesthetics, that means one thing-our bi-annual open house.  It’s on Thursday, December 7th this year, and we are excitedly preparing.  This is the time where we open our spa up to everyone, and celebrate.  We have food, drinks, raffles, insanely amazing deals, and you get to see our smiling faces.  If you haven’t RSVP’d yet, please do!  I promise you will be not be disappointed.

Looking at the RSVP list, it looks like pretty much every client has signed up.  And why not?  Seriously, it’s a blast.  But what about your sister who thinks it’s crazy that you get a massage once a month?  Or that friend who’s been on the fence about Botox?  Or your partner who insists that no medical spa treatment is worth that price?  You know, the ones who haven’t come to Innovative yet?  This may be your chance to prove both your fabulous taste and financial savvy.

But what do you tell them?  First of all, clear up any misconceptions they may have.  They may hear about Botox and fillers, and assume that we’re intent on turning our good citizens of Cedar Rapids into frozen, plastic faced Barbie and Ken dolls (we’re not).  Explain that our medical professionals who administer those options are going for subtle and natural results.  Tell them that massages and facials aren’t just for rich, bored housewives, and actually  play a vital role in maintaining healthy skin and muscles.  Show them our state of the art equipment that our owner and director, Dr. Jason Rexroth researches and invests in to make sure that our clients and patients get the top notch care they deserve.

Here is what I love about this place.  Our staff?  We listen.  Whether you’re coming for the Ideal Protein diet, injections, laser treatment, Microneedling, tattoo removal, facials, products, or massage, we communicate with you.  We feel so strongly about that that we generally preempt most first appointments with a free consultation.  We sit down with you, ask you questions, take VISIA pictures (VISIA is our skin analysis machine), and make sure you’re getting the best treatment for your concerns.  That means, for example, even if you are positive that you want, say, Radiesse, after speaking with you and studying your skin, we may determine that a different, maybe even less expensive treatment may be best for you.  And we will tell you that.  We will explain the products and procedures, and help you figure out what will make you feel the best about yourself.  That’s the only way we know how to operate.

Here’s a really great part.  At open house, our first and primary responsibility is to answer questions, and be there for you.  It’s not only the awesome once a year specials, prizes, and yummy food.  Our staff is all present to make sure that all of you, clients or not, get the best treatment of all.  And when a non-client decides to follow up with an appointment with us later?  Then we know we’ve done our job. Hope to see you all there, and remember, this year, if you bring a friend, you’re entered into a contest for three Forever Young laser treatments for you, and a Hydrafacial for your friend!

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Hair’s the Answer!

An entire industry is built around this.  The average woman will drop around $50,000 in a lifetime on products for it.  It’s blamed when you’re having a bad day.  There was a Broadway musical named after it.  Guessed it yet? (You should, it’s in the title.)  Yup, it’s HAIR.  We love it, we despair over it, and we cut, color, and tease it.  Sometimes all in the same day.  While not many of us can claim to have the perfect head of tresses, most of us are pretty content with our locks.  However, there is a large number of people who are struggling with hair loss.  It may seem like a first world problem, but consider this.  In virtually every culture in the world, hair is valued or significant.  It can make us feel beautiful, signify religion, show values, or make a personal statement.  To start losing it can be a traumatic experience.

So, what exactly causes hair loss?  Well…how much time do you have?  In women, besides genetics, common causes can be pregnancy, rapid weight loss (this has sometimes been noted as a side effect of the Ideal Protein diet), certain vitamin deficiencies, certain medications, hormones, psoriasis, auto-immune disorders, chemical overprocessing, and of course, our old friend stress, which can include traumatic events/time periods and surgeries.  This is by no means, a full list of symptoms, by the way.  For men, it tends to be a little simpler-usually a combination of genetics and male sex hormones.

We have women at different stages in life, who are experiencing thinning hair, and of course, men who aren’t ready to embrace the Vin Diesel look just yet.  When we realized how many of our clients were going through this, we started doing some homework.  In addition to a healthy lifestyle (that goes without saying, but I’m still saying it), we looked into vitamin supplements, hair products, and medical techniques.  As always, at Innovative, we don’t like selling or recommending products or services unless we ourselves have tried them and gotten results.  That being said, here are a few options we like.

Zenagen hair products.  Zenagen is a formula that is designed to thicken thinning hair.  Evolve is their shampoo-based treatment that is easy and fairly quick to use, making it a great option for both men and women under 40, for issues caused by overstyling and chemical, or hypo/hyper thyroids .  Revolve is best for men and women over 40, who are experiencing male/female pattern baldness, and/or visible recession. Boost is their styling line that helps to volumize and thicken hair while slowing shedding at the same time.  These are all formulated with natural ingredients, instead of harsh irritants, and it’s normal to see results after as little as 6 weeks of treatment.

You may be familiar with the PRP injections that we are able to add to microneedling treatments.  Well, did you know that injecting your scalp with your own platelet rich plasma (PRP) can stimulate the hair follicles into new growth?  It may sound strange, but trust me.  This has been very effective on some of our staff and a growing number of clients, and we’re excited to be able to offer it.  Consistency is key, so we usually do monthly treatments for 3 months (and depending on results, every 3 to 6 months thereafter), with results typically being seen after the 3rd month.

The following applies to our lovely Ideal Protein clients, as well as anyone else.  Taking daily supplements of biotin can be very helpful for thinning hair, as well as enhancing skin and nails as an added bonus.  Foods and drinks with collagen and gelatin have also been found to aid with hair loss, and it just so happens that some of our IP foods and drinks contain those ingredients, so check them out!  My personal favorite is the Blueberry, Cranberry, and Pomegranate drink mix (tip: mix it with a little plain sparkling water for a yummy N/A cocktail!).

Hair loss can be stressful and frustrating.  At Innovative Aesthetics, we’re here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be.  Give us a call, and come talk to us!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warning-Dry Spell Ahead!

I woke up the other day to a horror upon horrors. It happens every year around this time, but it’s none the less horrifying for the regularity.  I’m speaking, of course, of the onset of seasonal dry skin.

I used to have fairly normal skin.  Not super sensitive, and while I would sometimes get some hormonal or environmental based breakouts, it wasn’t intensely life-interrupting.  However, as I’ve gotten older, my skin has changed.  It’s a little more receptive to outside influences, it’s gotten looser, and like I mentioned, DRY.  “As we age, our skin not only ages, but changes in terms of allergies, sensitivities, and texture. What worked for us in our 20’s is probably not going to be what works for us in our 30’s, 40’s, and beyond”, says our ARNP Erica Nygaard.

Okay, that’s all well and good, but I’m over here with a dehydrated, flaky face that looks like it’s about to peel off.  What should I do?  Happily, I do happen to work at an amazing medical spa, with some pretty awesome experts to help me out.

First and foremost, this is one piece of advice that I am qualified to give (and I do on a regular basis).  DRINK MORE WATER. We may associate the need for extra water intake with summer-we’re running around, sweating, etc.  However, in the fall and winter, the air dries, and pulls not only moisture from our skin, but also our bodies overall-in fact, just breathing in the winter pulls it out further, since as we breathe, the condensation from our breath freezes in the outside air and isn’t reabsorbed through our next inhalation of breath.  Fascinating, right?  It’s amazing how what we put INTO our bodies directly correlates with our outer bodily surfaces.  Your skin will respond to the adequate amount of water, and will visibly show the benefits.

All right, so our first step is undertaken, and sure enough, it’s working some.  Sadly, the increased water intake more than likely won’t cure that super parched skin completely.  That’s where we seek the guidance of our professionals who have seen this countless times.  Recommendations?  We always advise people to first make an appointment for a free consultation.  While dry skin is a common complaint, our skin is so different that what works on one person may not work for another.  So it’s always best to set up a time to come in, get a VISIA picture taken (VISIA is our skin analysis machine, and is mindblowing), and see what would work best for you.  That being said, some good services to try that work well for most people are Microderms, Hydrafacials, and a good old fashioned Signature Facial (specifically customized for your skin type and/or issues).

Last thing?  Don’t forget to ask your aesthetician about follow up products to use at home.  We have top of the line, medical grade skin care products here, and chances are, there’s one that will highly benefit you.  Just as you can’t exercise once and develop perfect muscles, or eat one healthy meal and drop 20 pounds, you also can’t get one facial treatment and expect it to maintain the same balance.  With the proper cleansers and moisturizers (and more!), you can keep your results much longer.

Cooler temps don’t have to be our skin’s enemy.  But don’t take my word for it, come find out for yourself!

Coffee and Willpower

I am the first person to admit that when it come to food and beverages, I have no willpower.  Or if I do have a few strands of willpower, they are fragile, and make me sad and emotional at what I’m missing.  My husband does not get this.  He is of the type who, when wanting to diet, or cut a food out, or add something, just does it.  Like a pyschopath.  Just kidding, but seriously, that isn’t me.  I struggle with cravings, and have a hard time turning down food and drinks that I love.  Put me in a standard coffee shop, say Starbucks, or somewhere similar, where they have a bakery case filled with carb-olicious, sugar-filled treats, and drinks that are more like milkshakes that provide roughly an entire week’s worth of calories….and I’m in heaven.  Guilt-tripped and post-regretful, but heaven.  So when I heard over a year ago that Innovative Aesthetics was going ahead with our plan to open an Ideal Protein-approved coffee shop, I was ecstatic.  I could treat myself with options that were actually healthy?

Now, while I have acknowledged my lack of willpower, I will also state how important I think healthy living is.  I think food is our best medicine.  Unfortunately, food doesn’t always fuel us for good.  Sugar can be an addiction just like a drug, along with carbs.  It’s just our bodies process certain foods.  I am not alone in this struggle.  Many other people have the same problem, and have found immense help with the Ideal Protein lifestyle.  It goes in phases, with the first phase being the strictest-no sugar, no carbs, no fruit, etc, but plenty of approved veggies and protein.  To help with the restriction of your menu, we have a huge selection of drinks, bars, soups, snacks, desserts, etc.  It’s insanely helpful, and has brought thousands of people to not only a reduction in body weight, but simply a better life.  BUT. (You knew that was coming, right?) It does take work.  It takes willpower and strength to look at foods and drinks that you love, and say no.  So imagine a little cafe you can go to, and know that the majority of the menu is designed for YOU.  You aren’t a breakfast person, but have a hard time when you hit that mid-morning slump?  Well, zip through our drive thru, and order any of our coffees with an IP twist-you will add flavor and protein to your coffee, and all you had to do was drink that nectar of the gods, COFFEE.  How about lunch?  Maybe you get busy at work, and when you run out for a quick bite, you see those golden arches beckoning-it’s so easy!  Well, so is running into the coffee shop and grabbing a deli style meal, complete with the required amount of lean protein and veggies, made by our awesome Kristeena’s Catering.  Or you’re like me, and you like to treat yourself for no good reason at all except that you made it through another day.  Congratulations!  You’ve just earned a mocha frozen blended drink and a muffin or chocolate bite-no guilt included!

This is exciting to me.  When we make the right choices accessible and appealing to everyone, it’s so much easier to do the right thing.  Not just for us if we’re watching our diets, but kids as well.  Teach them to enjoy and treat themselves, but do it with a customizable whole fruit smoothie.  Or a fragrant herbal tea.

 

Slow Down!

The other day I ran into a friend whom I hadn’t seen for a while.  Of course, one of the first things she asked was what I had been up to lately.  I took a deep breath, knowing that it was going to take a while to update her, since I haven’t gotten a chance to sit down since 2013 (okay, slight exaggeration-maybe 2015?), and half the time feel like my house is simply a landing pad for infrequent stopovers. Funny thing though, I couldn’t think of anything to tell her except that I work, drive my kids around, and go to meetings.  That’s not exactly an update.  Those are errands and responsibilities that honestly should be the in-between minutia of our fulfilling lives, not my entire schedule-who wants to hear about those parts??  After that bit of self-realization, as I stood there a little disappointed in myself, my friend said “I thought I was the only one!”  Now, of course, that feeling can be a casualty of our social media society-we think everyone else is living an amazing life while we’re struggling to stay above water.  But there’s more to it.  It’s somehow become a badge of honor these days to go nonstop, to run ourselves ragged.

My friend then asked me what I do for myself.  Myself? Do?  I waxed poetic on getting time to read, get massages or facials, or exercise.  “After all,” I said sagely, “we are much better people when we take care of ourselves.”

True?  Of course.  True for me?  Well, it would be if I actually did the above activities enough to make a difference in my hectic life.  Look, it’s a busy time for a lot of us.  For example, I’m a wife, a mother of 3, work outside the home, and have this common disorder where I can’t say “no” to volunteer requests (if you find a cure, let me know).  But does that mean that we need to make this our “normal”?  And if it is our normal, how can we break it down and give ourselves a rest?

First, let’s stop and figure out what we can cut out.  Can we carpool for kids’ activities, get notes instead attending each and every meeting, throw together some make-ahead meals for the following week, etc?  Is there anything unnecessary that we’ve mistakenly deemed necessary?

Next, how can we force some downtime?  That’s right, I said force.  This is easier said than done.  We have conditioned ourselves as a society to see downtime as a luxury, and an impossiblity.  But we have to change that.  Call Innovative Aesthetics and schedule a massage or a facial, heck, get some Botox (shameless plug!).  Or go take a walk, and practice breathing.  Tell the family that you need an hour to yourself, and go get a coffee or smoothie (hey, I just thought of another shameless plug-Innovative Aesthetics has just opened a coffee shop!*).  Go hang out with a friend.  Whatever it is, it’s vital.

Let’s change things.  Starting with ourselves and our families, let’s stick with what we truly love, and truly need.  It all starts with each individual.  Stop and really think about what you’ve been up to lately.  You may be surprised at what you realize your main actions are. We can make ourselves better people by taking care of ourselves first…and isn’t that the first step in making our corner of the world a better place?

 

*Innovative Aesthetics Weight Loss Center-Protein and Coffee Bar

901 Tower Terrace Rd-Marion (across from Linn-Mar)

Is Massage Not Right for YOU?

Believe it or not, there is a significant number of people who have never gotten a massage before.  I know, I’m as surprised as you.  Not just because I’ve been practicing massage therapy since 2005, but because it’s just so darn awesome.

Most people who have never received massage before usually have the same few reasons, and once they’ve tried it, they’re almost always converted.  Let’s run down a few excuses, and I’ll give some reassurances.

1.)  “I have cellulite/ugly feet/extra pounds, and don’t want to be judged or feel self-conscious.”  Oh, honey, put that out of your head now.  First of all, we get all body types on our tables, and they all have one thing in common-we don’t see them as appealing/unappealing.  Your body is on the table for healing of some sort, whether mental, physical, or both.  And that’s the only way we see it.  We touch and work on your body the same way you navigate to the bathroom at night-by rote.  In fact, going with the previous nightly bathroom example, half the time, I’ve realized that I have my eyes closed as I’m working.  We know where the muscles are, we know where bony landmarks are, we know where to touch to bring relief.  We don’t do this by critical sight, we do it by our touch’s instincts keying into your body.

2.) “I just can’t get nude in front of a stranger/someone I know.”  There should never be a point when your full nudity is on display for us.  You should always be draped in a way that the only body part out is the area being worked on.  If you are at a legitimate massage practice, your comfort and dignity are our priority, and that doesn’t include us getting a glimpse of your entire birthday suit.

3.) Piggybacking on number 2, “Do I have to take my underwear off and /or get my butt touched?”  We do learn gluteal massage.  It is extremely beneficial, as we spend a lot of time not tending to our glute muscles.  We sit on them, we work them with almost every movement we make, and as a core area, they can be the root of low back pain, or hamstring pain.  BUT.  If you are not comfortable having your rear end worked on, we don’t have to do it.  You can tell us off the bat, or you can let us take the hint by leaving your underpants on. Honestly, over the years, I have realized that it’s best if the therapist brings this up before the client gets on the table.  I usually try to word it pretty close to how I just stated it.  It’s always up to the client’s comfort level, never what I deem as necessary.  I would rather have my client leave relaxed and comfortable with a slightly tense booty than have them get off the table feeling embarrassed or awkward, albeit with relaxed glute muscles.

4.) “I had a massage once and it was painfully deep/annoyingly light.”  One of my personal pet peeves with massages is when I voice a preference for a certain type of pressure, and I still don’t get what I requested.  Communication is important, but I will relate my first massage experience-it was incredibly, uncomfortably deep pressure, but I didn’t want to hurt my therapist’s feelings by telling her to ease up!  I know so much better now…on both sides.  Now, while my first therapist did ask me how the pressure was, like I said, I didn’t want to hurt her feelings.  Two important words-you won’t.  A massage therapist’s skill lies in her/his technique, not the amount of pressure he or she can do.  So, if the massage therapist asks you how the pressure is, and you’re not happy with it, tell them. Any good therapist will happily adjust to your liking.  And if they don’t, you may not be with the right person to work with. Speaking of which, onto number 5…

5.) “I had a massage once, and it didn’t help me/didn’t feel good.”  Don’t give up this easily!  Just like other professions, we are not one size fits all!  The work that I did on your bff may not be the work that you are wanting or needed.  And visa versa.  While most of us try to have a wide range of different techniques and practices that work for the majority of clients, they won’t work for every single person.  There are two massage therapists here at Innovative Aesthetics, and we have both had clients who after getting a massage from one, ended up going with the other the next time.  And it’s not personal (at least I hope so!).  We understand that our different styles work differently for certain needs.  I would rather you go to someone else and have relief than quit getting massage at all after an unsatisfactory session with me.  Speaking of which, the following has also happened…

6.)  “Well, this is awkward…I love massages, and I regularly get them from someone who isn’t you.”  I cannot stress how okay this is, and how not-awkward you should feel.  At the end of the day, massage therapists are healers.  If you’re getting massage and feeling good, don’t feel guilty that you’re going to someone else.  In fact, give me his or her name-I’m always looking for good massage practitioners!

The benefits of massage are so numerous that I could write a book.  Heck, I could write a series of books on the benefits.  Sometimes the decision to get a massage though, isn’t as simple as just knowing how therapeutic it is.  I understand the intimacy created during a session, and when we feel anxiety or second-guessing on our bodies or minds, it can put a stumbling block on our health journey.  However, I’m here to let you know that for us, we are in this profession to heal and guide others in body and spirit.  Give us a chance to find out with you what will work the best for you, through communication and our desire to bring you physical and mental harmony.

Microblading-Think About it!

Who remembers the razor thin eyebrow trend in the 90’s (my hand is going up)?  I, who had inherited my dad’s bushy eyebrows, busily spent waaaay too much time tweezing them to sparse, skinny perfection.  My mom walked in while I was doing that one day, and worriedly said “when you tweeze your brows too much, they may not grow back in!”  My response was something along the lines of “well, if Dad hadn’t given me his horrible eyebrows, I wouldn’t have to tweeze them so much!” (You can picture the teenage attitude.)  Fast forward to present day.  The trend now is thick, bold brows.  I would be fitting right in naturally, although, surprise, surprise, Mom was right-my brows are not what they used to be.

I’m not alone in the Post 1990’s Skinny Brow Debacle Recovery Group (okay, so there’s no such official group, but I know I’m not the only one who messed up perfectly good brows during that time).  There are a lot of options out there for faking the right eyebrow look.  After all, brows are an important part of your face. Have you ever seen the picture where they show celebrities’ faces, then the same faces with the eyebrows photoshopped off?  It’s pretty bizarre, let me tell you.  Whether you want a better arch, more feathered, bold, whatever, there are products out there to do it-gels, pencils, even tattooing.  However, I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that most of you don’t want to spend precious time every morning drawing in your brows.  And I’ve seen brow tattoos, and while some of them are great, I’ve seen a lot of very obvious and unnatural looking designs.  So, are there any other options?  Well, yes.  Microblading is a method that has gotten skyrocketed in popularity recently.  Unlike tattoos, microblading is only semi-permanent, which is perfect for a look which tends to follow trends.

Here at Innovative Aesthetics, our esthetician, Mandy has trained in the microblading process extensively, and what sets her apart from other practitioners is her study of art technique in college.  Anyone who has any sort of background in the artistic facial form knows that it’s harder than it looks to achieve proper proportion and form.  Mandy uses that knowledge and training to literally draw on the strokes, one by one.  After your (free) consultation where you discuss your goals and make sure this is the right step for you, she starts the first appointment by outlining and creating the shape with a removable pencil.  This takes a while, as it’s a meticulous process, plus she wants your frequent feedback to make sure you’re happy.  Once this is completed, she uses the special microblade pen to make tiny, hair-thin strokes along the specified areas.  The pigment, which is specially customized for each client, is deposited in a way where it will “seep” into the thin scratches she has made.  And that’s it.  Afterward, you are free to take all the selfies you want, and bask in your awesome new brows, but know that it’s normal for slight fading within a week or two, after the healing process.  This is low-maintenance downtime-she recommends ointment over the brows for a week, no picking at the tiny scabs, and avoiding facial products with certain ingredients, but you can be out and about and looking fabulous as soon as you leave the office!  Worried about pain?  Don’t be.  This is a relatively painless procedure, since we send you home from the consultation with numbing cream to have applied before you come in for your session. Afraid that you’ll get home, and decide that you would have liked to have put an extra hair or two somewhere?  Included in the price is a follow up session to ensure your satisfaction, and touch up wherever is needed.

Isn’t it great to know that your “follow the trends” mistakes don’t have to be permanent?  (You may want to hide those pictures from the 90’s.)

Hydrate That Face!

One of my favorite skin treatments is a classic-the microderm.  It’s a simple, but so, so effective.  A little device both exfoliates and sucks all the dead skin, oil, and other crud from my pores.  Instant gratification!  So, when we had a training on a newer device/treatment that was supposed to have similarities to the microderm, only much better, I was excited to try it out.

What is this new miracle treatment, you ask?  The Hydrafacial!  We have been doing a lot of these lately.  People like to try new things, and when those new things work, word gets around.  But, just what does the Hydrafacial do, anyway?

Well.  As our nurse/esthetician Beth says, it’s like a big drink of water for your face.  You still have the suction and abrasive tips to sweep away dead skin, the way our beloved microderm does, but also incorporates different serums and agents to get an even better result, with radiant skin for days to come.

The Hydrafacial is a 4 step process.  The first step is a deep cleanse (which, by the way, I’m for some reason never able to duplicate at home).  Next is a light glycolic and salicylic peel, with NO visible peeling (yes, you can go to an outdoor concert that same day, and have no issues).  Step 3 is the painless extractions, and lastly, an infusion of peptides and hylaronic acid to get that gorgeous, sought after hydration.  Now, you can also add “booster” steps-brightening and/or anti-wrinkle treaments. We also have blue and /or red LED therapy-the blue LED helps with acne by killing bacteria, and the red LED helps to counteract redness in the skin.

So, yes.  You can continue to love your microderms, but if you’re wanting to try something new, check out our Hydrafacial.  With no downtime and a treatment time of less than half an hour, you have nothing to lose.  That means brides can come in the day before their wedding, you can stop in over your lunch hour (and return to the office with make up on, and no one the wiser), or your teenager can get a quick skin refresh before they start school.  Give us a call, and come see us!

How did you get those BRUISES?!

Think back to the last Summer Olympics.  Remember when the internet went crazy over those strange circular bruise-looking marks on Michael Phelps?  Suddenly everyone was discussing the therapy that led to those marks.  I’m talking, of course, about cupping.  Funny thing, cupping has been around for a long, long time, long before the Olympics, and I predict long after.  But what is cupping, and how the heck is it beneficial?

Cupping is an ancient, multi-cultural practice that has been used for dozens of ailments. Simply put, it is using the power of negative pressure to treat the body.  A small cup is either applied to the body and air suctioned out, or traditionally, a flame is used to quickly pull the air out of the cup and then placed on the body.  Either way, we want to create a suctioned pull.  Here at Innovative Aesthetics, we use the pump method.  Although there are many maladies that cupping is used for, we mainly stick to working tense muscles that are having trouble responding to deep tissue massage.  You see, with massage, we use the opposite of negative pressure-we sink deep into the muscles with our hands and fingers to loosen and release the muscle fibers, and recirculate the blood and oxygen that are moving sluggishly throughout.   By using negative pressure, we are taking out of the equation the limit of how much positive pressure one can comfortably stand. The negative pressure of the cups use a gentle pull to gradually release the fibers, and allow the the blood and air to pull upward and start flowing in a natural and healthy pattern.  In fact, that’s where the marks come in.  The more stiff and tense a muscle is, the more stagnant and sluggish the blood flow is.  The more stagnant the blood is, the more blood is pulled to the surface, creating a bruise-like mark.  Therefore, the darker the mark, the tenser the muscle.  However, unlike a bruise, these marks fade differently-you won’t have the usual fade to greenish yellow, they will simply get lighter each day, most marks lasting for roughly a week to a week and a half.  Because of these marks, cupping tends to be a more popular winter treatment.  Now, I have no problem letting my marks show in tank tops or swim suits.  They’re completely circular, and really don’t look like bruises or hickeys, although trust me, you will get many jokes about the latter.  I like to use them as a talking point to open people to a new possibility of pain relief, but it is completely understandable to want to be a little discreet.

Whichever season you choose to do your cupping doesn’t really make a difference.  But if you’ve become resigned to living with pain, because massage has reached its limits, or chiropractic care just isn’t getting the whole picture, cupping may be an option to try.  Either way, it’s not going to make anything worse!  A few marks?  Eh, you got this!