SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (KSAZ) - It seems like there is always something new when it comes to smoothing wrinkles, losing weight, or looking younger. Now, there is something very, very old that's helping people turn back the hands of time.
It might just be the best kept secret of modern day beauty, a 20-minute, non-evasive procedure based on the ancient practice of facial cupping.
"This practice was mentioned in the ancient Chinese medical texts over 2,000 years ago," said Dr. Constance Bradley, owner of Scottsdale Integrative Acupuncture.
Initially reserved for royalty, Dr. Bradley said she makes her clients feel -- and look -- like kings and queens.
Dr. Bradley said the benefits include a reduction in facial puffiness, softening of fine lines and wrinkles, and the stimulation of collagen, all of which, some claim, will make a person look younger.
"I did have a lot of fine lines. I've just had since I was a teenager. Stress and worry and all that stuff," said Kiya Hunter, a client. The busy 28-year-old is a business owner, as well as the mother of a six-year old boy. With every day stresses weighing heavily and causing signs of premature aging, Hunter turned to facial cupping.
"My face had more color. It looked a little softer and more moist. I felt like I had a really good nap or a really good facial, and then the lingering effects probably a couple of weeks," said Hunter. "I was coming once a week for about ten weeks, and now I just kind of do a monthly maintenance."
In the world of wellness, cupping is not a new found treatment, as its characteristic cicrular bruise-like marks have been spotted on the backs of celebrities and professional athletes alike. In fact, Hunter turns to cupping to relieve shoulder pain. The unsightly spots are a result of cups being left in place for 30 minutes or longer. With facial cupping, however, the cups are smaller and constantly moving, so it leaves no marks.
The first step is cleansing, and then, Dr. Bradley applies essential oil that allows the cups to glide easily over the skin. Dr. Bradley treats as many men as women, including FOX 10 photographer Brain Kae.
The procedure, some claim, actually enhances Botox and makes it last longer, should patients choose to do both. For Hunter, she says she forgoes fillers, and says facial cupping leaves her with a softer more natural, albeit wrinkle free, look.
"It gives you so much more confidence," said Hunter. "We tend to pick apart all these features on our face that we don't like, so it's nice not to sit there and go, oh my gosh! Is that noticeable? Like, what are people going to think?"
"One visit a week for about ten weeks, and then from there, we talk about maintenance," said Dr. Bradley. "So, it's based off of your face and your needs. Usually, people come in once a month, once every six weeks."
Facial cupping is also known to relieve headaches, jaw pain and allergies, especially when used in conjunction with acupuncture. One treatment costs about $75.