Is Cupping Therapy Right for You?

Cupping Therapy is an ancient Chinese medicine practice that acts as a myofascial release. It isn’t the same as regular massage because it focuses more on pressing and compression. The skin is essentially lifted by glass cups, which creates space between the skin and the fascia. The fascia is the connective tissue that encases your muscles. By “cupping” the skin, it increases the blood flow and relieves muscle tension in the targeted area. With cupping, it is common for the therapy to leave bruises on the skin or red spots, but it isn’t dangerous or even painful, and the bruising resolves quickly.

Cupping Therapy has been practiced for thousands of years but has only recently become popular in the last decade. Many professional athletes use this therapy for injury recovery and prevention and some even believe it helps improve athletic performance. If you are interested in trying our Cupping Therapy, consider the following information when making your decision. While it’s a wonderful option for many, you may prefer the traditional massage, which is also an ancient practice focusing on muscle tension and release.


There are two common types of cupping, called fixed cupping and moving cupping. Fixed cupping is when the cups are applied to the skin and remain in place for several minutes in the same spot. Moving cupping involves the practitioner using oil on your skin and then putting the cups on your back and sliding them around.


Once the treatment area of the body has been identified, the area must be clean, so typically the practitioner will wash the skin with either soap and water or alcohol to make sure the skin is free of any makeup, lotions, etc. Oil is sometimes applied to the treatment spot but this is based on preference rather than being mandatory. You will want the intended treatment cups to be clean and dried thoroughly before use. Next, a cotton ball gets soaked in alcohol and then it gets lit by a lighter or candle. Once the cotton ball is flaming, it gets placed in the cup for a few seconds, long enough to heat the cup up and burn away the oxygen inside the cup. The cotton ball then gets removed from the cup and the practitioner quickly applies the cup to your skin. As the glass cools, the space inside the cup creates a vacuum-like effect that holds the cup in place. The skin gets suctioned up towards the cup and this is what stimulates the blood flow to that targeted area of your body. Generally, the practitioner only works with one cup at a time and the size of the cup depends on the targeting area. The entire process only takes a few minutes per cup.

Cupping Therapy is both an art form as well as an ancient practice that helps loosen tight muscles, increase blood flow and provide an overall sense of relaxation. Call our office today if you’d like more information, our staff at Total Body Chiropractic & Massage would be happy to answer any of your questions or set-up an appointment.