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Move over Bieber! Muddy tries cupping

I’m always on the look out for the stuff that’s slightly new, different or quirky in the area, and blow me down if I haven’t found it! The brilliant Thame Therapy Clinic, which I’ve used on personal level for everything for osteos and acupuncture (my never ending bad back), to some cranial work on my first born when he headbutted my womb wall for 12 hours flat, run the whole gamut of complementary treatments, and they’ve added cupping to their offering since my last visit in 2015.

Cupping was of course made famous firsty by Gwyneth Paltrow, who rocked up to an awards ceremony with glaringly obvious cupping ‘sucker’ marks back in 2004, and more recently at the 2016 Olympics where Michael Phelps in particularly looked like he’d been attacked by giant squid. Even Justin Bieber has been in on the act, so it clearly has its high profile fans.

Cupping dates back more than 1500 to China, and involves glass suction cups on the skin that create a vacuum and suck onto the skin, freeing up the movement of bloods and fluid in the underlying muscles. A bit like a love bite, the skin is superficially bruised afterwards which leaves the characteristic round mark.

As one of the potentially wackier therapies, the scientifically proven benefits of cupping are a bit thin on the ground, but I guess fine-tuned athletes like Phelps and myself will try anything to keep fit.

I can tell you that when Thame Therapy Clinic owner Andy Roscoe grabbed for the cupping glasses my first thought was, ‘They’d look nice on my dinner table’. The second was, are they going to hurt? And the answer to that is, not at all. Heat is used briefly to create the vacuum and from then it’s like a glass game of chess on your back, as they get moved around and jiggled a bit in areas of tension or pain.

Yup, that’s me

I also had a bit of acupuncture as part of the treatment – I love that bit at the beginning where you get to lie down and the therapist feels your arm for pulses, and it’s all very soporific before they reach for the needles. Andy’s specialism is all things Chinese (hence the cupping and acupunture) so if it’s meridian manipulation you’re looking for he’s your man.

Andy Roscoe, needles and cups at the ready

Did cupping make a huge difference to my back or wellbeing? Well it was definitely relaxing, interesting to try and one that’s hard to ignore with so many athletes using it at the highest levels.  My horrifically cynical journo background has me leaning more towards acupuncture, reflexology and osteopathy as my preferred complementary thearpies (all of which are done here well) but cupping is not something I’d totally discount either, particularly as it’s being offered at a reputable clinic.

One to add to your arsenal of complementary health tricks if you can remember not to wear backless dresses, low cut tops or your lycra budgie smugglers out at night.

Thame Therapy Clinic, 23 Upper High St, Thame OX9. Tel: 01844 215555





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