tcm, wellness

TCM Cupping Therapy & Gua Sha: A Guide to Reducing Hickies

If for whatever reason you need those cupping marks gone quickly, here are my tips for cupping hickey / blemish removal. Using things you already have at home, I show you how to help break up and loosen blood in the area, assist in healing, and of course help quickly disperse any marks left from cupping.


AT HOME GUASHA - Take any object with a smoothed edge (e.g. a ceramic wonton spoon, the side of your phone, thick plastic mixing spoon); press the object gentle into the area and move it along the area  while keeping consistent pressure, in stroking gestures. This helps move pooled blood, and makes the bruise less conspicuous.

TRY ESSENTIAL OILS - Essential Oils such as frankincense, myrrh and peppermint have an stimulant effect that boosts blood circulation. This improved circulation helps to heal the blood capillaries, and thereby the blemishes from cupping therapy and gua sha. Apply the essential oil gradually; there may be tingling as the oils start to move blood in the area.

ALOE VERA -  Aloe Vera which is known for its anti-inflammatory effects and healing properties, and can reduce sensitivity of the affected area. Also, it has soothing qualities that boost the healing of the broken capillaries.

VITAMIN K - Try a lotion or cream with Vitamin K; known for having a potent anti-coagulating effect that prevents the clotting of blood and aids in the re-absorption of pooled blood.

SCRUB / LOOFAH - While having a shower, use a loofah with some soapy water in the shower and gently scrub the affected areas. Repeat the process for 5 to 10 minutes. Brushing helps to stimulate blood flow on the hickey, ensuring that the clot is reabsorbed faster. Importantly, apply a cold compress to the area after brushing.

HYDROTHERAPY - Contrasting-hydrotherapy aids in circulation of blood and lymph, detoxification, swelling, inflammation, sprains and strains and other sports injury application. The improved circulatory funciton and manual pumping of blood, can help speed up healing of cupping/gua sha hickeys. Use [this guide] to try contrasting hydrotherapy at home.

COLD COMPRESS - Use some ice cubs wrapped in cloth or freeze some spoons and apply; gently rub the affected area. This helps to break the blood clots, which constrict and freezes the ruptured blood capillaries, improving blood circulation and swellings. 

HOT COMPRESS -  Heat is extremely efficient in dilating the blood capillaries and help to ensure a flow of fresh blood to the hickey, which clears the clot. To use this method, take a warm towel and apply it on the affected area for about five minutes; repeat the process three times every day to aid in fast hickey removal.