Let’s Go to China for Some Cupping Massage

cupping massage

What is Cupping?

Cupping is a type of option therapy that originated in China. It engages placing some cups on the skin to make suction. The suction may hasten healing with blood flow.

Researchers also claim the suction helps to facilitate the circulation of “qi” in the body. Qi is the Chinese term for “life force.” A famous alchemist and herbalist, Ge Hong, was reported to first practiced Cupping. Many Taoists also believe that cupping aids balance yang and yin, or the positive and negative, within the body. Restoring balance within these two extremes is thought to help one’s body resist pathogens, as well as its capability to increase blood circulation and reduce pain.

Cupping raises blood circulation to regions where the cups are positioned. This may soothe muscle tension and may improve overall blood circulation, and aid cell repair. It may also aid form new connective tissues and produce new blood vessels in the body tissue.

Folks use cupping to complement their care for a lot of conditions.

What are the Different Forms of Cupping?

Cupping was formally performed using the horns of the animal. Later, cups were produced from bamboo and then from ceramic. The suction was created with heat. The cups were scorched with fire and then placed on the skin. As they cooled, the cups suck the skin inward.

The modern cupping technique is often performed using round glass cups that are open on one end.

There are 2 main categories of cupping done today:

The dry cupping method is a suction-only type.

Wet Cupping may include both suction and restricted medicinal bleeding.

Your medical condition, practitioner, and preferences will help determine what method is best used for you.

During both forms of Cupping, your medical practitioner will put a flammable substance like herbs, alcohol, or paper in a cup and then set it ablaze. As the fire continues, they turn the cup upside down and place it upon your skin.

As the air trapped inside the cup cools, it makes a vacuum. This makes your skin rise and becomes red as your blood vessels dilate. The cup is often left in place for up to 4 minutes.

A more advanced version of Cupping uses a rubber pump in place of fire to make the vacuum inside the cup. Sometimes specialists use silicone cups, which can be moved from place to place on the skin for a seeming massage effect.

Wet Cupping makes a mild suction by leaving a cup in position for about 4 minutes. The specialist then removes the cup and makes use of a small scalpel to make some light, tiny cuts on your skin. Next, a second suction is done to draw out a small amount of blood.

You might get 4 cups in your first meeting. Or you might just try some to see how it works. It is rare to get above 5-7 cups, according to the British Cupping Society.

Afterward, you may use an antibiotic ointment with a bandage to avoid infection. Your skin should appear normal again just within 10 days.

Cupping supporters believe that wet type of Cupping removes toxins from the body to aid healing. But that’s not proven yet.

Some folks also get “needle cupping,” in which the specialist first inserts acupuncture needles and then puts the cups over them.

The Ideology Behind Pain and Cupping

“Where there is stagnation, there will surely be a pain. Eliminate the stagnation, and you eliminate the pain.”

The old Chinese medical maxim claims that pain results from the stagnation, congestion, and blockage of vital energy, Qi, lymph, phlegm, vital fluids, and blood. If pain is the cause of disease, then suffering is an effect of unsteady flow in the body. Chinese Cupping is a technique of breaking up the obstruction to restore the body’s natural circulation of energy.

Benefits of Cupping

Cupping has been utilized to cure a wide variety of conditions. It may be effective at easing issues that create muscle pains and aches.

Since these cups can also be used to major acupressure points, the therapy is possibly effective at curing skin issues, digestive issues, and other conditions often treated with acupressure.

  • Faster Pain Relief

painCupping can soothe pains from arthritis, lower back pain, etc. Other types of pain that can be effectively cured with Cupping include migraine, dental pain, sciatica, headache, and muscle pain, etc.

In case of arthritis, Cupping is done with the affected joints. Cupping raises blood circulation and mobility. Thus it is an effective treatment for issues like stiff neck, lumbago, rheumatism, and shoulders.

  • Cupping Increases Circulation

The suction from these cups raises circulation to the regions where the cups are placed. The additional blood circulation to that area can relieve muscle tension and aid cell repair. Increasing flow with Cupping also aids in lowering the appearance of cellulite.

  • Cupping Facilitates Tissues to Release Toxins

Yes, have you any organs that remove toxins from your blood. Cupping gives your body a boost in removing those toxins. Focused blood circulation helps your body by flushing accumulating toxins through the lymphatic system. (The lymphatic system is responsible for eradicating your body’s toxins and waste.)

  • Cupping Lowers Anxiety

When the specialist glides the cups over your skin, your parasympathetic nervous system gets engaged. This aids deep relaxation to move through your whole body. (The parasympathetic nervous system slows your cardiac rate, aid in digestion, and raise both intestinal and gland activity.)

  • Cupping Can Lower Stretch Marks and Scars

Increased blood circulation enables your body to eradicate toxins, restores lymphatic flow, and helps remove edema, which helps lower the appearance of scarred surfaces. Studies have proved the positive effects of cupping on aging stretch marks and scars, even in regions that are far from the area where these cups are used.

  • Cupping Can Boost Varicose Veins and Spider Veins

Varicose veins are bulging, bluish veins just beneath your skin, mostly on your legs and feet. They happen when the regulators inside the vein are not working well. The valves do not push the blood well from the muscle back to the cardiac, so the blood coagulates, and the veins bulge and twist. Cupping helps by conveying fresh blood flow and oxygen back to the affected areas. You will notice that your varicose veins will appear lighter after the first session, though it will take several cupping sessions for long-lasting results. (Note: only dry Cupping is recommended for curing varicose veins)

  • Cupping Can Wipe Congestion and Help Soothe Asthma

Congestion caused by bronchitis, cold, or even asthma can be cured with Cupping. The suction from the cups breaks up and drives out congestion. It conveys oxygen-rich blood and lymph to your lungs and other respiratory muscles. Cups are often placed upon your back but may be placed on your chest too. Your specialist may leave the cups in position or may swiftly glide them in an upward movement to facilitate the circulation of the lymph fluid. Facial Cupping can be used as well to help clear your sinuses.

  • Cupping May clear Colon Obstructions and Aid Digestion

Cupping helps to initiate the parasympathetic nervous system, which raises blood flow to the gut (digestive tract). Gentle Cupping over your abdomen also stimulates the internal parts of your digestive organs. It aids the peristalsis (contractive force that pushes food through your digestive tract) movement of your gut, helps eradicate colon blockages, encourages body fluids like blood to move through your organs, and aids relieve indigestion.

Things to Keep in Mind

Most medical practitioners do not have good training in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Your medical doctor may be uncomfortable with answering questions related to curing methods like Cupping.

Some of the CAM practitioners may be mainly enthusiastic about their methods, even suggest you skip over to the conventional medical treatments advised by your doctor.

But should you do choose to try cupping as part of your therapy plan, discuss your intention with your doctor? Keep up with regular doctor visitation related to your issue to get the best of both worlds.

This therapy is not recommended for everyone. Serious caution should be taken for these groups of people:


Children below 4 years old should not receive cupping treatment. Older children may only be treated for very brief periods.


Our skin gets more fragile as we age. Any drug you may be taking might have some effects as well.

Pregnant People

Side Effect of WhiskeyAvoid cupping the lower back and abdomen.

Folks Who Are Currently Menstruating

Do not use cupping therapy if you use blood-thinning medication.

Avoid as well cupping if you have:

  • A wound
  • Sunburn
  • A skin ulcer
  • Recent trauma
  • An internal organ disorder