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What is Cupping Therapy?

Cupping therapy is a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) modality in which a therapist uses cups to create suction. The suction action is what allows the body to heal and restore balance as it dispels blood stagnation.

In TCM, blood stagnation blocks the many meridians through which our energy (qi) flows. Sadly, blood stagnation is a common problem for many people living in today’s world. Daily life stressors, toxins and poor diet can all contribute to the development of stagnation.

Overtime, not addressing or correcting these underlying imbalances can lead to blood stagnation and pain is always most often noted. The goal with cupping therapy is to identify the areas of stagnation and remove them to eliminate pain.

The application of cups to the body creates a suction action that draws the skin up into the cup allowing congested blood to disperse. Cups used for this therapy can be made from bamboo, silicone, glass or plastic. The type of cup used is determined by the therapist and the area(s) of the body that are going to be cupped.

In addition to cupping therapy, another way that stagnation can be broken up is with the use of small scraping devices known as gua sha [gwa shaw]. Instead of using a cup to create suction, the stagnation is removed with a scraping action. It is a great compliment to cupping therapy as it can target areas where a cup may not be able to fit. Just like cupping, gua sha is not painful and will leave you feeling more relaxed and loose.

Types of Cupping:

Fire Cupping: rubbing alcohol is applied to the inside of the cup, which is then lit on fire and placed immediately on the skin.

Dry Cupping: plastic cupping sets use a suction gun to remove oxygen from inside of the cup.

Running Cupping: cups that have been placed on the skin can be glided up and down. Running cupping works especially well when experiencing a lot of congestion as a result of a cold, flu or allergies.

Stationary Cupping: cups remain in place during the entire session.

*Wet Cupping: involves placing a cup over an area that has been pierced with a needle to remove blood.

What to Expect:

  • With fire cupping a warm sensation is felt once cup is placed
  • Bruises aka “Cup Kisses” will vary in color, but will fade in 7-10 days
  • Feel relaxed during and after your treatment
  • There is no downtime after treatment, just ensure to drink water and avoid excessively hot showers

Conditions that Benefit from Cupping Therapy:

  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Shoulder, neck & back pain
  • Constipation
  • Sciatica
  • Scar tissue
  • Endometrial pain

Recommended Frequency

  • Initially, cupping can be done twice a week for 4-6 weeks, then patients can switch to once a week every week or every other week for maintenance.


*Not offered at Infinite Wellness