Red Leaf Wellness offers functional medicine services, including cupping, in the Edmonton, Alberta region. We provide whole health and alternative medicine strategies by blending the best of ancient Eastern healing with modern Western medicine.
The practice of cupping traces back thousands of years ago to ancient Chinese, Egyptian, and Middle Eastern cultures.
In fact, the technique is described in one of the oldest medical textbooks known as the “Ebers Papyrus”, suggesting that ancient Egyptians were using cupping therapy as early as 1,550 B.C.!
Cupping is a technique that is often used to treat musculoskeletal pain and is available in 30 and 60 minute increments or in conjunction with our acupuncture or massage services. The cupping sessions involve the use of silicone or glass cups that are placed on the skin’s surface. This creates a reverse pressure massage that reaches tissues at a much deeper level.
This in turn causes the fascia to realign and restructure the tissue while also promoting blood circulation, lymphatic drainage, and toxin release.
Your practitioner may apply a thin layer of oil to your skin and move the cups around the affected area or leave them in strategic places depending on your unique needs.
Despite certain cupping techniques that exist, there is no bleeding involved with our therapy – although you may experience redness and round bruise-like marks for 3 to 5 days. However, unlike bruises, they’re not caused by ruptured blood vessels due to impact or injury, so they’re not painful. Cupping marks are the result of stagnant blood, cellular debris, or pathogens from a past or present injury or illness that are brought to the surface. This allows the waste to be cleared out through the lymphatic system and new blood to flow through your injury, promoting further healing and range of motion. Cupping is not painful and feels like being massaged.
The Benefits of Cupping
Cupping stimulates the temperature of the tissues by increasing blood flow to the area – which is important in relaxing your muscles and decreasing tension.
This is done by creating a vacuum pressure that lifts up tissue and brings circulation to the surface, providing more nutrients and oxygen to the tissues.
This therapy technique also promotes the removal of waste in your tissues by increasing blood flow to nourish the muscles and skin and allowing toxins to be carried away through the lymphatic system.
Cupping also decreases cortisol and creates a sense of relaxation. Cortisol is a hormone that, when released, causes stress in your body. While it is necessary for our “fight or flight” response, heightened levels of cortisol can lead to anxiety, headaches, and weight gain.
While cupping increases temperature, it also calms the nervous system – this helps to calm the feeling of stress. This therapeutic effect is beneficial to those who have high blood pressure, anxiety, and fatigue.
Getting the Most Out of Cupping Therapy
Before you attend your appointment for cupping at Red Leaf Wellness, it’s important to prepare your body for maximum effects. This includes drinking plenty of water and eating about an hour before your appointment.
It’s also important that you do not shave the area to be cupped within four hours of your appointment to avoid irritation. Likewise, if you are recovering from a sunburn, it is best to postpone your visit.
After your cupping appointment, you should continue to drink water to help flush your lymphatic system. Try to keep the area where you received cupping warm and get some rest following the appointment.
For about 4-6 hours after cupping, you should avoid caffeine, alcohol, sugar foods/drinks, dairy, and processed meats – these foods slow down your body’s ability to process the treatment. Also avoid hot showers, saunas, hot tubs, and strong air conditioning to prevent irritation to your skin.
Are You Ready to Start Your Journey to Health and Wellness?
Our integrative wellness clinic provides whole health, functional, and alternative medicine strategies in the Edmonton region.
Cupping is one of the many services Red Leaf Wellness offers as part of the individualized treatment plans we design for each patient based on their unique needs, symptoms, and wellness goals.
Caring for people is my passion and one of the greatest callings life has to offer. I am a seasoned Paramedic and Acupuncturist with extensive experience assisting patients as they cope with obvious and invisible injuries. I have been there for those in desperate medical, psychological or traumatic situations, delivered beautiful babies in vehicles parked along the side of the road, and administered care in such odd locations as on a domestic airliner at 30,000 feet or when flying emergency medevacs over Arabian desertscapes. I know full well how to care for those in true crisis but have also witnessed so many more whose illnesses and injuries could be traced back to their treatment of the body as a whole, whether through their diet, fitness levels, or neglect. As my career has evolved, so has my focus, which has shifted to helping a greater number of people early on to prevent minor issues from evolving into larger and costlier illnesses. In my practice I have found a niche offering by pairing these strengths in emergency care and women’s health with the respected skills and techniques from top practitioners in oriental medicine. All care is focused on returning the body, mind, and spirit to a whole.
My academic preparation closely incorporates oriental medicine with Western healthcare. My passions build on natural strengths in highly stressful complex interactions, care management, and treatment of anxiety, depression and PTSD – particularly amongst Armed Forces and Emergency Services personnel. Within North America and the Middle East I have enjoyed a long standing career as a respected clinician, clinical educator, fire and emergency medical dispatcher. I hold active licensure/registration with the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM), the College of Acupuncturists of Alberta (CAA), the California Acupuncture Board, and the Alberta Herbalists Association (AHA). I am a past Board Director with the Alberta Pain Society and a present member of the CAA Competence Committee.
Doctorate of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (DACM), American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Master of Science (M.S.) – Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, cum laude, South Baylo University
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) – Holistic Science, South Baylo University
Diploma – Emergency Medical Technician (Paramedic), Augustana University
RAc – Registered Acupuncturist of the College of Acupuncturists of Alberta (CAA)
RH – Registered Herbalist of the Alberta Herbalists Association (AHA)
LAc – Licensed Acupuncturist of the California Acupuncture Board
Dipl.Ac – Diplomate of Acupuncture of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM)
Dr. Abtahi is a well-respected and sought-after clinician who firmly believes that the greatest personal wealth an individual can have is good health. In his clinical practice, Seyed is known for addressing highly complex medical conditions with a gentle, empathetic, soft touch, and also for taking the time to translate into simple terms what may be going within each body system. His focus is on helping patients not only understand why discomfort and disease manifest in convoluted ways, but also in helping them develop balanced and holistic treatment plans to better guide their health journey.
Seyed is an avid life-long learner and researcher, always striving to understand the evolving intersections of classical Eastern and modern Western medicine. There is no doubt he has deep expertise in the delivery of complex care – he was a distinguished faculty member for several Universities and academic institutions in Iran, where he leveraged his graduate anesthesia and pain management studies to develop and deliver course curriculums for future generations of clinicians. He lectured widely on topics such as the pathophysiology of medical diseases, intensive care, pediatric and gynecological disorders and medical surgical needs. It was during this tenure that Seyed also discovered a natural curiosity for complementary medicine, as he was able to see the profound impacts it would have on helping people reach better levels of physical, mental and spiritual fitness.
His professional interests tend towards a broad spectrum of ailments, including chronic pain management, musculoskeletal pain, general health, digestive disorders, stress management, functional disorders, insomnia, emotional and psychological disorders, gynecological issues and auto-immune disease, among others. Seyed likes to incorporate different modalities to help his patients including acupressure, tuina (Chinese massage), gua sha, moxibustion, electro-stimulation, cupping, scalp and ear acupuncture.
Seyed holds a Master of Science degree in Anesthesia, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the Shiraz University of Medical Sciences. He is an honors graduate of the Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture program at Reeves College and is fully qualified with the College of Acupuncturists of Alberta (CAA). He is also a certified Su Jok Acupuncturist from the International Su Jok Academy, which is a highly specialized style of Korean acupuncture with a unique focus on those treatment patterns involving the palm and foot.
Master of Science (MSc) in Anesthesia, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences
Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Nursing, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences
Diploma of Acupuncture (Dipl.Ac), Reeves College
Certificate of Su Jok Acupuncture, International Su Jok Therapy Association, Su Jok Academy
Certificate CPR Level C – AED, HCP from Canadian Red Cross
RAc, College and Association of Acupuncturists of Alberta (CAAA)
Helping people comes naturally to Michelle! As a highly skilled Acupuncturist, Massage Therapist, and Advanced Care Paramedic she is widely recognized for developing unique care plans which draw on her knowledge and therapeutic touch gained across each of these specialized disciplines. Having over twenty years of combined expertise in caring for her patients, Michelle has had a front row seat to observe how stress and emotion affect the mind and body. Complementing her acupuncture services at Red Leaf Wellness, Michelle offers a variety of therapeutic and relaxation massage therapies, including pregnancy massage, myofascial release and myofascial cupping.
Michelle began her health career as a massage therapist, graduating the 2200hr Massage Program at Macewan University in 2001. Being active in competitive sport in her youth, Michelle understood the benefits of massage on sport performance, recovery and injury prevention. She subsequently branched into emergency care and became an Advanced Care Paramedic where she was able to offer a calming presence in stressful, emergent situations. Michelle has always believed that soft skills, an extra moment spent with family, or a hand to hold on the way to the hospital, can be as healing as the specific medical interventions themselves. Working as a Paramedic Michelle saw, and began to question, how it is that people differ in disease and the aging process and why the same drug benefited one person, but not the other. Her lifelong learning journey had her begin to look for these answers in the time-tested practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Acupuncture, thus kicking off another quest for knowledge at MacEwan University’s Acupuncture Program.
Diploma – Acupuncture, Macewan University
Diploma – Emergency Medical Technician (Paramedic), Augustana University
Certificate – Massage Therapy Grant MacEwan College
RAc, College of Acupuncturists of Alberta (CAA)
RMT, National Health Practitioners of Canada (NHPC)
Dr. Yoko Masuda is a master practitioner – skilled in the rare craft of Japanese style acupuncture – where she incorporates and tailors gentle needling, moxibustion (specific deep heat), therme (heat massage) and cupping into her treatment plans. These skills, as well as her reputation for delivering tangible results, make her a sought-after provider, especially in the areas of pain management, sports injuries, orthopaedic injuries and emotional health. Yoko firmly believes that the mind and the body are intertwined in healing and she continually advocates for a healthy lifestyle alongside of the care she provides.
Yoko received her acupuncture degree in Japan and, after working at several clinics in Tokyo, she accepted a staff acupuncturist position with the world renowned Cirque du Soleil touring show. For nearly twenty years, she went on to travel the far reaches of the globe, working on several other productions, and earning the respect of an international group of artists, staff and athletes before eventually selecting Edmonton for her permanent clinical practice. As a former high school physical education teacher, and also as an alumnus of the Japanese national rhythmic gymnastics team (where she competed internationally on numerous occasions), she has amassed an impressive background in sports therapy and physical education, uniquely positioning her to address all manner of orthopedic and performance related concerns.
Outside of work, Yoko enjoys travelling, the outdoors, and spending time with her husband and two elementary-aged daughters.
Diploma of Acupuncture, Hanada College, Tokyo, Japan
RAc, College and Association of Acupuncturists of Alberta (CAA)
In a world that is constantly moving, in which we continually push ourselves to achieve more, do more, and be more, Dr. Moynihan believes that a gentler approach with ourselves and our bodies will achieve an overall greater well-being, and that all else flows from there. Acupuncture is the modality she uses to help people explore and heal deeper issues within their bodies, opening up their capacity to truly thrive.
After working in the health and fitness industry as a Personal Fitness Trainer for many years, Dr. Moynihan bore witness to the many patterns of roadblocks that clients can face in their quest for wellness. Working closely with her clients’ bodies for years she observed the undeniable and powerful energy the body has. This insight, coupled with her innate desire to help others attain a deeper level of physical, emotional, and mental healing, led her to become a certified Reiki Practitioner, Crystal Healer and Doctor of Acupuncture.
Dr. Moynihan is widely known for her therapeutic touch, gentleness and compassionate approach. Her main treatment goal is to create an environment where all her clients feel comfortable, and have an understanding of what is occurring within their body and why. Accomplished in the art of traditional Chinese medicine, she is able to assist with a myriad of ailments and disease states such as pain management, digestion, insomnia, and anxiety. Dr. Moynihan has completed additional highly specialized, Cosmetic and Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture training from leading Oriental Medicine practitioners, and has also attained Subconscious Imprinting certification. Subconscious Imprinting Technique is one of the most effective ways to discover and remove subconscious beliefs, decisions and patterns that are negatively influencing your health, relationships, and the way you show up in your life.
Diploma of Acupuncture (Dipl.Ac) Reeves College
RAc, College and Association of Acupuncturists of Alberta (CAA)