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How Can Cupping Help Me?

by Kelly Ferguson, L.Ac.

Cupping is one of the many tools an acupuncturist has in their arsenal. It has been used for thousands of years and by many different cultures. 

How Cupping Works

An acupuncturist or trained professional will take a glass cup and momentarily place a flame within it,  removing the air and creating a vacuum or suction when applied to the skin. The cups will remain on the skin for 5-10 minutes and will either remain in place or be moved around by the practitioner. 

Cupping helps to resolve blood stasis, remove lymph or fluids in the tissue, and relieves muscle tension in the body.  Cupping essentially increases the circulation of blood and lymph in the body. Did you know you have more lymph fluid in your body than blood?  Lymphatic fluid helps remove toxins and muscular waste from your body and is excreted through your sweat, urine and bowel movements. 

When you receive cupping, the lymphatic system is removing the toxins and muscular waste, while fresh oxygenated blood rushes in to the area of cupping to help heal muscle tissue much faster (especially in the case of muscle injuries).

Further, cupping is often used for Allergies, High Blood Pressure, Respiratory Conditions such as a cold or bronchitis, and Musculoskeletal conditions like back, shoulder or neck pain/tension.  Last year when Michael Phelps had cupping marks at the Olympics, we received many questions about cupping.


Hopefully this article helps answer some of your questions and perhaps help you form more questions. Please contact us with your new questions and curiosity about cupping if you or your family member is ready to try this awesome modality. 

Why I Became an Acupuncturist

Hi, My name is Laura Stauffer Parks and I’m a Licensed Acupuncturist and Certified Health Coach at Cloud 9 Acupuncture and here’s my story of how I became an acupuncturist.
Long ago, I was a Massage Therapist who was afraid of needles. One week, at least half of my clients came in asking me about acupuncture, and asking me if I knew of a good local acupuncturist for them to try. I answered No, actually I’ve never tried acupuncture because I’m afraid of needles. After maybe the 10th or 12th client asked me this same question about acupuncture, I decided to go try acupuncture just once, to find a nice local acupuncturist that I could send all my massage clients to. And so, I did just that.
When I began receiving acupuncture treatments, I had no idea what to expect. I had allergies that were bad enough I’d have to take prescription allergy meds daily or face a nasty sinus infection as soon as I’d try to stop taking it. After my second acupuncture treatment, my allergies were gone for good, which was awesome!  Even better was the deep and profound relaxation I felt not just during my session but for days, even a week after my treatment. That really got my attention, as a massage therapist I knew the relaxation from a good massage can last a solid day if you’re lucky.
I was about 22 years old when I received my first acupuncture treatment. Over the next few years, I was continuously amazed by what acupuncture could do for me. I’d twisted my ankle coming off the curb the wrong way, and after acupuncture walked out like it never happened. Colds went away faster, things I would normally take antibiotics for I was now using acupuncture with great success.
What really took the cake for me was when my cat suddenly fell ill. All of a sudden one day, my cat had gone into kidney failure. According to the vet, after being hospitalized for 3 days and about a thousand dollars later, my cat had about a 10% chance of survival, as they still did not actually know why my cat’s kidneys were shutting down. I told my acupuncturist and she recommended her colleague who treats cats. So when my cat came home from the vet, looking very much like he was dying, he got his very first acupuncture treatment.
Here’s what happened… She placed the needles for 15 minutes on my cat’s back, then took them out. In that 15 mins my cat went from not able to lift his head or meow, dingy damp fur and yellowing eyes to leaping off the couch, jumping into the bathtub and begging for water out of the tub faucet, drinking water and meowing loudly, running to the kitchen and eating a large bowl of cat food (he hadn’t eaten for about a week), and then swiftly running back to us and rubbing against our legs while excitedly meowing loud and fast, as if to say, “thank you, thank you, thank you! I feel so much better!” My cat would go on to live another 10 years.
After my miraculous cat acupuncture experience I knew what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I knew I had to go to acupuncture school and learn how to help people with this medicine of vast possibilities. So I did. I’ve enjoyed every day of being an acupuncturist, helping patients with so many different kinds of conditions. Every day is so different, because you never know what the patient is going to come in with, physical or emotional, that they may need tending. Every day is a true adventure and I feel so honored to offer this medicine.
If you have questions about how acupuncture can help you with your health concerns, please call to schedule a Free Consultation – I’d love to help!

New Ways for Exotic Travel this Summer

Sometimes you don’t even need to leave town in order to travel.  New adventures await in many forms, some of which you may not have considered yet.

In Chinese Medicine, we discuss the Liver as not just the anatomic organ known to filter your blood from toxins, but also the area of the body that is connected to your dream state. It is said that when you dream, the part of you leaves your body is called the Hun and it resides in your liver.  The Hun, part of your essence, leaves your body and enters the dream state having lots of grand adventures for the purpose of returning to your body with the memory of your dream travels and the gift that you can glean from these exotic experiences: Vision, Planning, and Insight.

Our dreams often give us a short view and a long view of where we are on our life path.  Dreams can validate that uneasy feeling we have about a new co-worker or our friend’s new boyfriend.  Dreams can gently nudge us towards saying the big “YES” to going to grad school or finally planning that life long dream trip to Europe.  We get to process our unconscious desires, wants, needs, and insecurities in our safe place while we are dreaming.  Often we will see our ex-lover, our spouse, our pets, family and friends in our dreams, sometimes even our deceased loved ones make an long awaited appearance.

The travels we experience in our dreams are meant to give us insight and encouragement to nourish our destiny.  Falling asleep at night allows us the opportunity to dive deep and explore, but so does daily meditation.


Meditation uses the same essence of the liver, the Hun, to travel to ethereal plane and gather insight.  Most of the time, meditation is about letting go of the rational mind, letting go of the mind chatter, the busy brain that talks incessantly about “what are eating for dinner tonight, do you think our co-worker got offended by how we said XYZ, let’s worry about that one family member we have no control over, can you believe she said that?” and so on and so on…

Gracefully allowing oneself to slip into meditation is much more than letting go of the chatty mind, it’s also about what you gain- a sense of ethereal travel, sometimes you actually feel as though you have left your body altogether and come close to kissing the edge of the divine.  Sometimes, I have seen the most beautiful and exotic, the most artistic and mesmerizing scenes of my life while in meditation.  Of course, these visual travels are but a distraction, but they also give some of the best epiphanies and insight possible.

In my meditation travels, I have touched the tip of a mountain top, placing my hands on the Earth causes the planet to rumble and all of the Earth’s beautiful animals come peacefully and quickly to surround my healing hands, still touching the Earth. This experience came to me during a period in my life when I felt very ungrounded.  I had just moved half-way around the country and I was feeling very unsupported in my arrival to a new place, a new business, even though I had lived in that area before.  The unsettled feeling I had been feeling was allowing self-doubt to creep in about my healing gifts and make me reconsider my life path – should I give up the healing arts and go do something more stable?  More reliable, more dependable and just work for someone else?  NO!!!!  I would hate leaving the healing arts, and probably strongly dislike working for someone else.  My vision in my meditation quickly helped bring my mind at ease and quite my Ego that was freaking out big time.

When I have days that drive me crazy I remember moments like the one in meditation, the peace I felt from experiencing being supported by Mother Earth and all of her creatures.  It was from this meditation I also realized (again) that offering healing to people (through acupuncture which is an energetic medicine) ripples out into the world.  Healing spreads through families, communities, through every piece of nature that a person encounters, the peaceful energy continues.

If you’d like to help spread peaceful energy and cultivate your meditation practice, ask Laura about the next meditation group or workshop.

Acupuncture is another avenue for such serene travel, to quite the lower mind and tune in to the softer energy within.  Often when I enter the room, my acupuncture patients will say something like, “wow, I was really out there, somewhere.”  I know the feeling!  Here’s to more travel this summer, whatever your preference for adventure is.

July’s Intuition Training Class

Don’t Miss Your Chance!

Perceptive Awareness Technique
Intuition Training Class:
July 8, 9, 10

July’s PAT Intuition
Training Registration
Expires this Friday 6/17


Perceptive Awareness Technique is a 3 day long multi-media intensive, specifically designed to help you connect with your own intuition, and provide a framework to access accurate and immediate information so that you can make the right choices in your daily personal and business life.

P.A.T. Students will be taught:

  • How to use the intuition to interpret symbolic information
  • How to enhance higher consciousness in self
  • Rapid meditative procedure for relaxation
  • Concentration skills for accuracy
  • How to become more productive and positive in decision-making
  • How to access higher sense perception to improve self and personal relationships
  • How to become motivated to be of greater service to the community through personal actions
    • How to utilize their breath and focus for accessing intuitive skills

Can’t come to Baltimore, Maryland?
Laura will bring P.A.T. to you!  Contact Laura about sponsoring a P.A.T. class.

Ready to take the next step?  Or Check Out Future Class Dates?

Contact Laura before Early Bird Registration expires on Fri. June 17th.
(Final Deadline Registration is June 24th)


Laura’s Tel. 443-521-3583, email:,

410-847-4766 Directions Contact/Schedule