Last month I went for the most incredible massage and was quickly converted to Bellabaci Cups. So what is cupping? Well according to the Bellabaci website “Cupping is an ancient Chinese method of causing local congestion. A partial vacuum is created in cups placed on the skin either by means of heat or suction. This draws up the underlying tissues. When the cup is left in place on the skin for a few minutes, blood stasis is formed and localized healing takes place.”

It works by causing deliberate, local congestion with negative pressure which immediately creates a repair response. This brings a fresh influx of toxin clearing cells, which can then be filtered by your lymphatic system. Immunity is then boosted and your body’s radar for detecting problems is restored.

It is well and truly excellent for releasing muscle tension and I’ve been using the cups on my shoulders each evening. After a hot shower, I apply a little bit of the L’Occitane Relaxing Massage oil to my shoulders and then gently apply pressure from the cups. I leave them on for 7-10min on the worst knots and then release. This has significantly helped with the tension in this problem area. I highly recommend them for knots!

Now do they help with cellulite too?

If you search for Bellabaci then you’re bound to see the world cellulite used in any article you read about them and with good reason. They really do help! They help with the lymphatic system which is critical to ridding our bodies of toxins. Toxic build-up is the primary cause of the stagnant lymph, which is often the cause of cellulite. Now this isn’t going to magically cure all the cellulite but I do have a few areas where I have dimples and they “hurt” if I massage the area using the Elancyl system (review here) then this diminishes. When using the cups in conjunction with their Cellu-Slim cream I’ve found that it speeds up the process and these dimples significantly diminish and in some have completely disappeared.

Just before bed I will apply a small amount of the Elancyl Cellu-Slim cream. You can use any cream or oil for the cups, this helps with the suction. Since the cups are aiding absorption it does help to use something with active targeted ingredients.

You then gently pinch the cup and slowly release onto the area you need to work on. This may take a few tries and some awkward suction sounds too but you will easily get the hang of it. It is important to start with a gentle suction, you can gradually increase by twisting the cup.

As you can see blood is already rushing to the area and the skin is going red. Now for cellulite you should massage the area. There is no need to keep the cup in one area and it shouldn’t be twisted too tight. They recommend to “Use straight line and circular movements to massage the area. Drain the area by moving the cup toward the nearest lymph nodes. Gradually increase suction to stimulate circulation, remove stagnation, and release built up “sludge.””

Many people I’ve spoken to are afraid of using the cups because of “the bruises” or that the effect is “just like a hickey”. Both are false. You will only bruise if there is a large amount of toxic build-up. By gradually massaging you will only be left with some redness in the problem areas. I have bruised on my shoulders and can actually tell which area is more problematic by seeing how much darker the bruising is on one side versus the other. These bruises fade quickly though usually a day or two at most.

For a set of two cups (one softer and one hard) they retail for R365 and can be purchased online or at your favourite spa. I got mine at the Life Day Spa Waterfront.

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