Last week I had my first ever cupping therapy session. I think like a lot of people I first noticed it during the Olympics when Micheal Phleps amongst others had those distinctive marks on their back after the treatment. I was delighted to accept the offer from Lorraine and travel out to Claregalway for a treatment.

Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine in which a therapist puts special cups on your skin for a few minutes to create suction. You can get it for a whole host of reasons, friends of mine go to alleviate pain, I just with the goal of relaxation and wellbeing.

To begin I was given a massage with oils and then the suction cups were applied. Lorraine, my lovely masseuse talking me through the entire process gently moved the cups around my back, at all times ensuring that I wasn’t feeling any pain or discomfort. I honestly found it so relaxing, it was such a lovely experience.

The basic principal is that as the air inside the cup cools, it creates a vacuum. This causes the blood vessels to expand which causes your skin to expand. The cups were gentle moved around my back to stimulate the entire area and encourage blood flow throughout.

I’d honestly highly recommend a treatment, I feel so great afterwards, really relaxed and refreshed. I met a friend just after the treatment and he asked if I had just woken up, as I looked so relaxed.

I think its critical to unwind and relax nowadays. I have always found playing sport an amazing way to relieve stress but as I get a bit older its harder to play as often as I’d like to. This or any treatment that you find helps you to relax and feel reenergized is so worthwhile. Treating yourself a few times a year can have serious long term benefits to your physical and mental wellbeing.