What is Cupping?

I have recently started offering cupping sessions through a groupon promotion. Because of this promotion, I have been doing a lot more cupping sessions and have been asked a lot of question about it!  So I thought a blog to answer some of these questions was in order.

Generally, cupping  is combined with acupuncture, but cupping can also be used on it’s own. During a cupping session, glass cups are suctioned on to the muscle layer. I will often use oil to lubricate the area, which enables me to slide the cups over the musculature in order to span a greater area. The suction draws the skin and superficial muscle layer in to the cup which allows for an increase in blood circulation resulting in a reduction in tension and pain. The sessions feel like a deep massage and are very relaxing for the nervous system. After sliding the cups, I then leave them in in place for a period of 10-15 minutes while the patient rests.

Cupping may be used in the treatment of back and neck pain or tension, migraines and fatigue. It can also clear congestion from the common cold and may help to control asthmatic symptoms. Cupping is most commonly used on the back and neck area, but can be used on any painful or tense region of the body and may be used on the abdomen for menstrual and digestive issues.



Cupping will leave red or purple marks that will remain for about a week following the treatment. These marks are referred to as ‘sha’ and are an indication that the stagnation of blood in the area has been released. These marks should remain covered until they have healed and it is best to take it easy following the session. I also suggest that you wait for the marks to heal prior to scheduling another cupping session.

Cupping sessions are available as single sessions or as a package of 3 (for a discounted fee). Cupping is most effective when it is used regularly, but patients often notice that with a series of frequent treatments they are able to go longer between treatments over time. Therefore, I recommend weekly sessions to start for about a month and then scheduling as needed from there. Have other questions? Check out this cupping FAQs page or contact me!

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