Cupping Therapy massage went out of mainstream use by the late 1800s but has begun making a huge comeback. Celebrities and athletes have brought this traditional method into the public eye. Jennifer Aniston, Michael Phelps, and Kim Kardashian are just one of many celebrities that use this technique. Recently National Geographic posted a photo by fritz-photos on its Instagram showing NHL New England Patriots linebacker James Harrison got treated by a massage therapist using cupping therapy.

Cupping is one way to experience deep tissue massage more comfortably with greater benefits to the deeper layers. It literally unwinds the fascia, giving you more flexibility and less pain which is the ultimate goal.

The suction and negative pressure provided by cupping can loosen muscles, encourage blood flow, and sedate the nervous system which makes it an excellent treatment for high blood pressure. Cupping is used to relieve back and neck pains, stiff muscles, anxiety, fatigue, migraines, rheumatism, and even cellulite.

Cupping has long been used in holistic and alternative medicine practices, but it has definitely gained acceptance in the Westernized world. It has been found to work wonderfully when coupled with more modern practices. With no physical trauma to the body, the benefits of this ancient practice are well worth exploring. You may find that it helps with relaxation, toxin removal, and pain relief when used regularly.

Pre-Care Instructions

  • Water helps to dilute the intensity of the release of toxins so load up before and after your session.
  • Cupping Therapy modalities should not be combined with aggressive exfoliation and at least 4 hrs after shaving.
  • Please inform you practitioner if you tend to respond strongly to acupuncture, cupping, or bodywork. Treatments can easily be modified to be gentler and still very effective.

Post Care Instructions

  • Drink plenty of room-temperature water before your session and for 24-48 hours after. This will help your body flush out what has been drawn up to the surface during cupping!
  • It is recommended to avoid caffeine, alcohol, sugary foods and drinks, dairy and processed meats and should consume an abundance of clean water for at least the day of treatment.
  • An Epsom Salt and 1/2 c baking soda bath will help with any unpleasant feelings post Cupping, as well as assist the lymph system move those toxins on out. We highly recommend treating yourself to one.
  • Eat 2 hours before your treatment, and have a snack after. ⠀
  • Take it easy and avoid vigorous exercise immediately after the session. Walking, stretching, gentle yoga, or other gentle movements that align with your abilities and mobility are great options if you want to
  • move after your session! Avoid aggressive work outs post treatment.
  • Avoid drafts, sitting in front of fans or in windy places, or getting chilled, especially after a treatment. Cupping opens the pores and the channels, making the body vulnerable to attack from outside influence like wind and cold. From a Chinese medicine perspective, these environmental factors can trigger stiffness and pain and reduce the flow of energy and blood – so, steer clear and stay warm! ⠀
  • Avoid showering or swimming the rest of the day after your treatment. We know, this might sound like a really odd suggestion. But for the same reason that avoiding wind and cold is important, avoiding “dampness” from water and getting chilled from being wet, is important!
  • If you have any soreness post-session or if your cupping marks are very dark, massaging arnica gel, cream, or oil into the area can help promote healing and reduce any discomfort. You can also use a heating pad or hot water bottle on the cupped areas to help promote circulation and relax the muscles.
  • Tell your practitioner if you’ve ever experienced discomfort after cupping. Treatments can easily be modified to be gentler and still very effective.


Cupping Therapy

What type of Cupping Therapy do you do?

  1. Stagnant Cupping Therapy occurs when the practitioner draws the client’s skin and muscle are vacuumed into the device by heat or pumping method and held in place for the full treatment. After the vacuum is released the skin and muscle relax back into place. The bruising will generally be darker.
  2. Dynamic Cupping Therapy takes place when the technician creates the suction and then moves the cups around to stimulate the lymphatic system, organs, and blood vessels. Aromatic organic essential oils are used to rebalance and restore wellbeing.

What are the benefits of Cupping Therapy?

Reduces stress
Reduces inflammation
Calms the nervous system
Optimizes athletic performance
Enhances circulation, improving blood flow
Loosen restriction and adhesion in the tissue
Improves immunity by increasing lymphatic out put
Promotes blood circulation speeds up muscle recovery
Warms the skin, and softens tissue to regain elasticity
Provides a feeling of relief from physical and emotional tensions
Relaxation in contrast to the positive pressure of a deep tissue massage
Begins the healing a regeneration process, the exchange of blood allows the removal to toxin and dead cells.

What can you expect during a Cupping Therapy appointment?

Depending on the type of cupping and what you are going in for, you will have several cups placed on your body, depending on where you want the treatment. For a stagnant treatment, the cups will be left in place and for a dynamic treatment, the technician will move them around. You may feel some pinching if a knot is located. Upon the release of the skin and muscle, you should feel an immediate lack of tension and more relaxation.

What are Cupping marks?

It’s a Cupping Mark. Discolorations that can occur are from the release and clearing of stagnation and toxins from the body.  This reaction is not bruising, but is due to cellular debris, pathogenic factors and toxins being drawn to the surface to be cleared away by lymphatic and circulatory systems. The discolorations will dissipate from a few hours to as long as few weeks.

How long does Cupping marks last?

The cupping marks can range from a light pink, to a bright red, to a dark purple depending on the amount of stagnation present. Cupping marks can last anywhere from one hour to up to three weeks depending on the severity of toxins released.

Is Cupping Therapy good for everyone?

No, Individuals undergoing Cancer therapy, a heart attack within last 8 months, sunburned skin or pregnant should not consider Cupping Therapy.