Cupping Therapy - Massage Therapy

Cupping Therapy - Massage Therapy

How Does Cupping Therapy Work?

Cupping therapy creates a vacuum by suctioning out the air, as the underlying tissue is raised within the vacuum inside the cup.

The purpose of cupping is to enhance circulation, soften rigid soft tissues, loosen and lift connective tissues, help relieve pain, break up and drain blood stagnation, and pull out the toxins that linger in the body’s tissues.
Depending on your comfort and your practitioner’s assessment of the problem, cups may be moved around or left in place for a few minutes at a time. Each treatment is unique to you on that particular day. Cupping can be done on any part of the body, as long as the cup can suction out the air. Areas with more hair on the body may be a challenge for this reason.

What Causes the Colored Bruise-like Marks Left Behind After Cupping Therapy?

When injuries occur deep in the muscle, bleeding often occurs causing deep bruises. There will also be edema in the area involving the coagulation of sticky proteins. The combining presence of these elements usually results in stagnation of circulation to the area - resulting in pain, dysfunction, and chronic conditions.

The vacuum formed by Cupping draws up the old non-circulating stagnant blood and sticky fluids from the area, bringing them up to the surface and away from the injury so that healthy free circulation can be restored to the affected area, This creates the cupping marks which indicate that the stagnation has been moved from the deeper tissue layers to the surface.  This creates space for oxygen, living cells and nutrients for faster recovery.

The color and pattern of the marks depend on the level of stagnation in the area.
They range from a bright red to dark purple, usually lasting a few days to a week – depending on the individual’s ability to heal. Therefore, the darker the bruise is, the more stagnation was present in that muscle. If there is no stagnation present, there will be a pink marking which disappears in a few minutes to a couple of hours.

Areas where there is old trauma or injury may require multiple Cupping treatments to remove all stagnation. You will find in follow up treatments the marks will be progressively lighter as the pathogens are systemically removed from the body.

Once the marks have cleared, the procedure can be repeated until the condition or ailment is resolved.


-removal of pathogens & toxins
-increases circulation, therefore speeding up the healing process
-increases metabolism
-enables lymph flow, and better blood flow within the joint and secretion of synovial fluids
-reduces inflammation and trigger point knots
-separates adhesive scar tissue and releases restricted tissue/fascia
-improves skin tone and promotes skin renewal (cellulite, scars, stretch marks)
-improves digestion and helps relieve constipation symptoms

What to Expect?    

Most patients find it hard to describe how it feels, it's simply an odd feeling.
Cupping can be uncomfortable in some areas that are more restricted.
Although these areas might be more uncomfortable, it may be where you need it the most in order to release those tissues and increase range of motion.
You will feel a painless, tight/pulling sensation in the area where the cup is placed or moved along.  Keep in mind, the amount of suction is adjustable based on your tolerance, and your massage therapist will ask you about your comfort level throughout. There are also different sizes of cups depending on the area being treated.
You may experience different colors of circular-type bruising lasting from a few days to about a week and a half on average, depending on how fast your body heals. Though, they are in fact NOT bruises. A bruise appears when the body experiences some kind of blunt injury or trauma. Cupping can break the blood capillaries present under the skin, which is why you see the markings left behind.

When do we NOT do Cupping:
-open lesions
-any blood related disorder
-if you are on blood thinners
-compromised skin such as very thin, fragile skin
-the lower back and abdomen of a pregnant woman cannot be treated with cupping therapy


See you soon,