What To Expect When You Get Cupping Therapy

woman performing cupping

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Written by: Suzanne Kvilhaug

”That’s gonna leave a mark”, the perfect universal tagline for every cupping business out there. When you see those red marks on someone’s back you can’t help but wonder, what is the point? Why would someone be willing to do that to themselves? It has to be painful, right? If you’re into wellness, cupping may spark your curiosity. Should I start doing it? And if so, why?!

Cupping explained

Cupping is an alternative medicine that has been used in traditional Chinese medical as well as by Egyptian and Middle Eastern cultures. The general logistics of cupping are simple- glass, bamboo or plastic jars are placed on the skin to create a localized suction. Depending on preference, with heat, hands or an electrical pump, a “vacuum” is formed so that the tissues and muscles of the body are partially sucked into the jar. So this has to be a little bit painful? Surprisingly no, many people describe the feeling as soothing and relaxing. And that can be included in things that make you go hmmm!

WHAT ARE THE Benefits of cupping

The science behind cupping is that it expands the capillaries and increases the amount of fluid entering and leaving tissues. According to Acupuncture Today, "The negative pressure created by the suction stimulates the local acupuncture point, this increases the Qi and blood flow through the meridian to loosen up tight muscles, to relieve pain, and to detoxify and re-balance organ function." The main belief behind cupping is that it can help certain health issues that are caused by a poor energy flow through your body. It is meant to improve the flow of energy in the body by bringing blood to the surface and releasing toxins from the body. The overall goal: promote effective healing.

Who performs cupping and is it safe?

Cupping therapy doesn’t have many risks and is generally safe when done correctly by a trained health professional. It is most commonly used on the back, neck and shoulders. A lot of the times cupping is paired with massage therapy, essential oils or acupuncture. The bruising marks are common and some practitioners use them as a helpful tool in diagnosis by the practitioner. Energetically speaking, redness shows heat in the body, bruising is a sign of blood stagnation and no marks may be a sign of stagnant energy in the body. As for how long it takes for the marks to disappear, usually a few days to 2 weeks.

Cupping can be used to help:

Who should do cupping?

Most people turn to cupping to reduce inflammation, provide pain relief and relaxation, and promote overall well-being. Cupping is highly suggested for people with the flu, colds, coughs, back and muscle pain, poor circulation, anxiety, red itchy skin conditions, allergies, fevers and aches.