Healthy Hollywood: Wellness Wednesday – Celebrities’ Chinese Secret!

A few years back, Gwyneth Paltrow was photographed with unusual spots on her back.

The actress revealed her blotches were the result of an ancient Chinese treatment, called cupping.

Similar to acupuncture, cupping uses heated glass suction cups on specific areas to help stimulate the movement of blood and energy. Anna Lynne McCord and Victoria Beckham are also fans of this detox remedy.

Healthy Hollywood recently had the opportunity to try this pain-relief remedy at New York’s Exhale spa. I had to check out this treatment for a segment Billy Bush and Kit Hoover are doing on Access Hollywood Live Thursday. Our hosts will get a cupping treatment live on the air, but before they do it, It, I stepped in as guinea pig to understand how the treatment works.

Since cupping is supposed to work wonders on body aches, I decided to get a cupping treatment for a shoulder issue. Exhale acupuncturist Ron Venk was my therapist. “Tightness in the shoulder is typically caused by stress, daily life and how we hold ourselves while we are coping with the instruments of the modern world, like computers,” revealed Ron.

To begin, Ron placed acupuncture needs in specific points along my ankles and shoulder area. “Again using the idea of Chinese medicine and how chi (energy) flows in the body, we want to loosen that area in the shoulder. We want to use needles, even down by the ankles, because I want to maximize the energy flow. Plus, we use needles locally where pain is as well.”

After the needles were removed, it was time for cupping. One by one, Ron suctioned glass cups in my shoulder area. The pressure of the suction did not hurt, but I certainly felt an increased intensity in the area. To be honest, the added pressure was a similar sensation to a deep massage that borders on pain, but ultimately feels good. “I decided to slide the cups along area to loosen up the muscles at the surface. Then, I found the best place for the cups for your tension and let them sit there for 10 minutes.”

After removing the cups, my shoulder area did feel looser and my back wider. Just like Gwyneth and Anna Lynne, I have the telltale cupping marks of blotches on my shoulders. The spots are supposed to disappear in a few days. But, in the meantime, I am sporting the marks made fashionable by Gwyneth – never thought we’d be in the same style category – ever!

Check out Billy Bush and Kit Hoover live cupping treatment on Access Hollywood Live Thursday (check local listings). For more information on cupping, head over to

-- Terri MacLeod

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