Relatively unknown to most people living in the West until recently, cupping therapy is an alternative therapeutic method that has been popular in China since around 1000 B.C. Some records show that variations of cupping practices might actually be much older — possibly dating as far back as 3000 B.C. (1)

And for good reason. Cupping therapy has a host of health benefits that can often outweigh modern medicine techniques.

There are loads of science-backed ways to battle inflammation, from far-reaching tactics like hopping in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, to downing a daily ginger shot, to even trying to change your partner’s sleeping habits. But a new study published by the American Psychological Association in the journal Emotion says it may be as simple as staying 16 shades of positive.

Having a stressful week? Don't bring it into the weekend! Massage is an awesome way to help that stress just melt away...

Athletes of many stripes are turning to acupuncture for an effective method of injury treatment and prevention. Professional football players from the ranks of the New York Jets, Minnesota Vikings, San Diego Chargers and more have embraced acupuncture to manage pain, speed injury recovery, and achieve peak physical performance in their sport. A review of research studies on the use of acupuncture in sports confirms its efficacy at increasing muscle strength and power in athletes.1

Sure, it can help you relax. But massage therapy can do much more than that. Here are six healthy reasons to book an appointment.

1) It counteracts all that sitting you do

“Most individuals are dealing with some kind of postural stress,” says Aaron Tanason, registered massage therapist, kinesiologist and owner at Paleolife Massage Therapy in Toronto. “More often than not [that stress] tends to manifest in the shoulders and neck.”

One in five Australians live with chronic pain — its health burden costs Western society almost equal to diabetes and cancer combined. Despite its prevalence, there's still stigma attached to chronic pain among medical professionals and the community which can have a lasting impact on sufferers.

Psychology student and model Isabella, 22, has experienced pain so intense her body went into shock and she was unable to walk. She developed the "excruciating pain" throughout her whole body at age 15 and at first doctors thought it was "all in [her] head".

It can be very hard to tell exactly how your body will react to an acupuncture treatment. There are some patients who are able to respond to acupuncture very strongly, the great majority of participants need to go for a few sessions before they will start to experience results with their acupuncture treatments. This means that even though their body is hardwired to respond to acupuncture in the best possible way, they still won’t notice the greatest benefits of acupuncture until they are at least a few sessions in.

According to the National Institute of Health, “Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older.” In addition, according to the same source, women are 60% more likely to experience anxiety and the average onset of an anxiety disorder is age 11. However, only 42.2% of those with anxiety seek any kind of treatment, and of that only 33.8% are receiving minimally adequate treatment. The take away is that anxiety is something we all experience at some level and we are not doing enough to treat it.

Generally, people use massage for either general relaxation and wellbeing, or to address a specific complaint, such as pain or limited range of motion. Research suggests massage therapy may contribute to both goals.

Watching his wife in agony as she was giving birth, Pavel Goldstein didn't know what to do.

"All I could think was, 'What can I do to help her?' " the postdoctoral pain researcher recalled. "I reached for her hand and it seemed to help."

He knew that couples can calm each other down, synchronising their breath and even brainwaves and heartbeats, just by being in each other's presence (it can also happen when people sing together or watch a movie together).