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Cupping. What can it do for you?

Cupping. Chinese Medicine

The art of fire cupping. I love cupping. I love receiving it and administering it. What does cupping actually do? Why should you get cupping? From a Western Medical perspective cupping stimulates blood circulation, it breaks up adhesions, and can allow toxins to be drawn out of the body. It can assist in breaking up scar tissue, relax muscles in spasm, decrease pain and decrease inflammation from trauma. I have been wanting to write this blog for a long time since I am such a huge fan of cupping. I have done some research to gather the information that I have written below but really for me it just feels great and releases all my tension that I hold in my neck, shoulders and back.

How does it work? The application of suction cups to the required area allows the dead cellular debris and excess fluids and toxins to be pulled to the surface and deposited under the skin. Here the lymphatic system can readily drain the toxins away. This also enables new blood to flood the area being cupped and thereby heal more swiftly. Tissue that is up to 10cm deep can be accessed, thereby impacting blood vessels, fascia, muscles, and scar tissue. Just imagine the healing that can be achieved simply by applying a cup to the skin!

Cupping has been practiced for over 5000 years, with multiple cultures using cupping as a home therapy before seeking outside intervention from a medical practitioner. It is better to encourage the body’s own immune system before taking chemicals or drugs. When done properly, by someone trained in cupping, it is harmless and does not cause any adverse side effects, additionally, the results are often fast.

Cupping can leave circular marks on the skin, displaying a variety of colours from light yellow to dark purple. From a Chinese Medicine perspective, the more stagnation of Qi and blood in the area, the darker the marks. Stagnation equals pain, so that is why I use cupping for many different conditions and disharmonies.

I use fire cupping in my clinic; the glass cup is held over an alcohol-soaked cotton ball on fire and then when it is placed on the lubricated skin, the heated air cools down and a vacuum is created inside the cup. The skin is sucked into the cup, causing greater circulation in this area and bringing the toxins to the surface to be released. Often the cups are left in the one position for a period of time but sometimes I move the cups around and it is like having a massage. This delivers a much stronger effect on blood circulation than regular massage.

Although it would appear that cups are only placed on the skin at certain sites, their placement also balances the underlying cause of problems, as does all my treatments! This is why I love Chinese Medicine so much, because I am treating the cause not just managing the symptoms. Come and book your appointment today and enjoy some cupping.


Bentley, B 2015, ‘A Cupping Mark is not a Bruise’, The Lantern vol. 12 no. 2, pp. 14-20.

Chirali, I 1991, ‘Practical Guide to Cupping Therapy’, Journal of Chinese Medicine no. 37, pp. 21-26. Constantin, PI, ‘Cupping Therapy’, Scribd.

El Hennawy, MM, ‘Cupping Therapy and Infertility’, Scribd.

Manz, H 2009, ‘The Art of Cupping’, Thieme, Stuttgart.

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