What is Cupping Therapy?

Cupping therapy is an ancient therapy were special cups are placed on your skin, to create suction. Through a vacuum suction, skin is drawn into the cup over a targeted area. The vacuum is created by either by heat/ subsequent cooling of the air in the cup, or by a mechanical pump. The cup is left in the targeted place five to fifteen minutes. It is believed that through the suction of the cups, circulation is increased and toxins are removed from the body. Every therapist uses different cups and methods depending on what practice and believe.


The practice of cupping dates back to as early, as 3000 BC. and The Ebers Papyrus ( c. 1550 BC- oldest medical textbooks in the Western world) describes the Egyptians’ use of cupping, and similar practices by Saharan peoples. Hippocrates (c. 400 BC) used cupping for internal disease and structural problems. Muhammad mentioned recommended cupping and hence it’s well-practiced in the Muslim communities. Cupping is recorded in China from the famous Taoist alchemist/ herbalist, Ge Hong (281–341 A.D.).

Different types of Cupping Therapy

Cupping therapy is classified into Six categories:

1. Technical types- dry, wet, massage and flash.

2. Power of suction types- light, medium and strong.

3. Suction related types- fire, manual and electrical.

4. Materials inside cups types- herbal, water, ozone, Moxa, needle and magnetic.

5. Area treated types- facial, abdominal, female, male and orthopedic.

6. Other cupping types- sports and aquatic.

Benefits of Cupping

The suction thus created helps mobilize blood flow in the body and boosts the healing of a number of medical conditions. Depending on the practitioner, cupping therapy may be administered on its own, or be combined with other alternative practices like acupuncture, massage therapy or essential oils therapy. Here are some of the benefits that cupping therapy can offer.

1. Effective diagnostic method

2. Helps reduce pain

3. Promotes relaxation

4. Enhances skin health

5. Treats colds and other respiratory issues

6. Improves digestion

7. Relieves headaches

8. Menopausal symptom management

9. Detoxification benefits

10. Strengthens immune system

11. Expedites recovery times


Side effects of Cupping Therapy

Cupping is mostly safe if preformed by a trained professional. A few side effects on the skin where the cups touch skin include:


  • Mild discomfort
  • Burns
  • Bruises
  • Skin infection or rash



Additional Information