Recovery Series: Acupuncture, Cupping and Vital Proteins

In a world where everything is going a million miles an hour, self-care is such an important topic and something I need more of lately. Today I’m sharing my next installment of my recovery series with Vital Proteins. You can read my first one here. I’m talking all about my experience with acupuncture and cupping at Exhale Spa.

I’m sure I sound like a broken record, but it’s so important to me to find ways to manage my stress and anxiety. I have lots of it! Making the leap to run my company Dallas Fitness Ambassadors full time alongside my blog is a huge life change. So the type of therapy I’m seeking goes beyond retail therapy and Netflix binges. I’m not a fan of medication either. So I workout often, eat well (the good and the bad), and I seek out spa treatments and therapies when I need a break in life.

I’ve only experienced acupuncture once before and actually grew up seeing my parents use cupping and gua sha (scrapping) whenever they were sick. I’m always up for new experiences and if it benefits my body, calms my mind, and washes away the tension in my shoulders, count me in!

I headed to Exhale Spa and started my experience with a relaxing cup of tea and a few moments of quiet to decompress from the day. Pro tip, I added my single serve packet of Vital Proteins to my cup of tea while I waited. Because it has protein and collagen in it, it was a great way to avoid the stomach grumbles during my appointment. No one wants to eat a ton and feel bloated while laying your back or face down during a massage. I loved how it dissolves instantly and is practically tasteless. Now to get into the deets of my experience!

My Exhale Experience

First of all, Exhale Spa is SO gorgeous and the staff is incredible and so nice. It’s like walking into a dream. This would be my second spa experience at Exhale and it’s still one of the best. My session at Exhale Spa would include acupuncture, acupressure massage and option to include cupping or gua sha. I said bring it on! Similar to a doctor’s experience, I was asked a series of questions about my health, diet, and lifestyle so my acupuncturist could get a better idea of where she’d need to poke me. I wanted her to know as much as possible so talked about everything from stress, work, how often I did #2, injuries, and more. After a quick questionnaire, I slipped under the sheets and awaited bliss.

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a Chinese medical practice that uses needles to stimulate different parts of the body. The purpose of using the needles is to target specific points in the body that will help improve circulation and decrease inflammation. According to my acupuncturist, the top three reasons why people have sought out her services is stress management, fertility, and pain management. So think sports injuries, aches and pains, and even chronic pain like sciatica. She even mentioned how some people use it for beauty purposes and tightening skin in the face for wrinkles. Cool alternative to botox if you ask me!

My acupuncturist didn’t use a ton of needles on me. She inserted a few in my head, hands and feet. Her goal was to use as little as possible for maximum effect. The process was very sterile and comfortable. I never felt like I was getting a procedure in a medical office, but appreciated the care of the needles and the spa experience combined in one.

Now, I am the biggest weenie when it comes to needles. I ABSOLUTELY hate needles. I can’t even look at them. But, if it’s going to help me with my tension and stress, I am game! After a few minutes, the areas where the needles were placed start to feel tingly. They are only left in for about 20 minutes. At Exhale, after the needles are removed, I then enjoyed an acupressure massage before moving on to cupping.

What is cupping?

Cupping is another form of alternative medicine or healing that uses glass cups and a flame to create a vacuum or suction and is placed on your back and shoulders. It was made super popular by Michael Phelps when he showed up with these strange looking bruises on his back. Contrary to how ugly those bruises appear, the entire process is practically painless.

For cupping, the doctor uses a flame to quickly heat the inside of the cup before placing it on your back. It creates a suction that is suppose to draw out negative energy, help with aches and pains in your back and neck, inflammation, circulation, release tension and more.

While placing the cups on your back, you don’t feel heat and you certainly won’t get burned. Don’t let the flame scare you! You will start to feel your skin lift as natural with the suction from the cups. I had one on my neck/shoulder that I felt the most and it’s because I held all my tension in my shoulders. The release was amazing! I could feel a difference once it was over.

The cups are left on for a few minutes and looking through the photos, the darker circles show where I had more tension. I could feel a lot of my tension melting away. My marks disappeared after a week. After the cups were removed, I enjoyed a quick massage using different oils and it felt amazing.

What is Vital Proteins?

Earlier, I mentioned how I used Vital Proteins as I wait for my spa treatments and I definitely want to get into that a little more here. It’s all about wholesome well-being. Taking care of your body and mind from the inside out. It matters what you do to your body and what you put in it.

Vital Proteins helps with recovery and ligament repair and contains collagen which is good for your muscles, joints, and cartilage. It’s also great for your skin, hair and nails. As we age, we produce less collagen and the more workouts we put our bodies through, the more we need it for our bodies to heal. You can have all the big muscles you want, but it’s pointless if your joints are feeble and weak.

Definitely loved their single serves and I use their Collagen Peptides and the Marine Collagen. Super easy and convenient to carry with me anywhere. Vital Proteins sources the Collagen Peptides from beef, the Marine one from fish. They now offer a Veggie Blend version which incorporates more fruits and veggies in addition to beef collagen peptides.

So that’s a wrap and I hope you enjoyed learning more about alternative forms of therapy and Vital Proteins. If you have any burning questions about my experience or Vital Proteins, drop a comment below and I’ll be happy to answer!

This review and series is sponsored by Vital Proteins. There are no affiliate links in this post. All opinions remain my own.


  1. I have soooooo much tension at all times in my neck and shoulders. Cupping would probably help greatly with that! How long did the bruises last for? I bruise so easy and am so white that I am afraid I would have them for weeks. haha.

  2. Okay, the fact that you said it is virtually painless makes me want to try it…I have tension in my shoulders too, and I don’t always feel like massages tackle that tension alone. EEEK! Maybe I’ll check it out.

  3. I’ve had acupuncture and cupping at Exhale Spa before too! I have gotten more comfortable with the idea of the needles now but it did make me a little nervous at first. Now I get acupuncture regularly for pain relief.

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