What is Chinese Cupping Therapy?


Cupping is a Chinese therapeutic modality that is applied by creating suction from a cup over the skin of an affected area, or along a meridian pathway.  Cupping works by creating a suction on the surface of the skin from the air being removed from the inside of the cup.  The suction draws up the skin, muscles, and deep tissues, resulting in the opening of the pores,  break down of muscle adhesion, stimulation of the nerves and blood vessels and improving general blood circulation.

From the Chinese Medicine perspective, the cupping opens meridians and collaterals while stimulating and activating the acupuncture points and channels, which then causes the body to repair the areas of blockage, stagnation, and poor circulation.  Cupping will result in temporary localized swelling and minor bruising that are harmless and will disappear within a few days.  Although cupping is something that is generally safe and frequently practiced, there are still many contraindications and precautions for cupping that could lead to serious injury if proper care is not taken.

Always have a professional healthcare provider perform any type of medical or therapeutic modalities on you or a loved one!

cuppingIndications for Cupping

  1. Soft tissue, muscle, tendon injury & pain
  2. Arthritic pain
  3. Asthma and other respiratory diseases
  4. Digestive disorders
  5. Gynecological disorders
  6. Bell’s Palsy, facial paralysis
  7. Common cold
  8. Opens pores and eliminates bio-toxin waste

cuppingCautions & Contraindications 

Cupping is NOT suitable for any of the following conditions or syndromes

  • Arterial/vascular distribution areas
  • Bleeding disorders; clotting problems
  • Hemophilia or leukemia
  • Febrile convulsions
  • Open wound, skin lesions, ulcers
  • Skin Allergies
  • Pitting Edema
  • Abdomen and lumbosacral area during pregnancy
  • Weak, feeble, geriatric patients.

cuppingCare After Cupping:

  • Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.  Water will help the body to flush waste toxins and will help to dilate the blood vessels in the affected muscle areas.
  • Keep the cupped area covered.  Cupping keeps the pores open and potentially makes you more susceptible to external wind-invasion, such as common colds.

Disclaimer:  This information is intended as a patient education resource only and should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem as it is not a substitute for expert professional care.  If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, please consult with your primary care physician.

For more information, please email [email protected]