Cupping Therapy: Is It Good For Your Body?


Anything that the celebrities pick on instantly becomes a sensation. Be it a food product or a fashion accessory. This is also true for holiday spots and some cosmetic procedures that become popular overnight.

To relax our bodies and minds, we often seek places like resorts, beaches, or spas but our celebrities are known to do something different. Known as cupping, its benefits have been widely discussed in the social media.

However, we should look closely into its working, risks, and benefits. We will also be detailing the recovery time required after the process. Seems interesting, isn’t it? Read on to learn more about it!

What is cupping?

Cupping Therapy Practice

Deeply rooted in alternative medicine branches like Chinese, Middle Eastern, and European, cupping is known to be widely effective when it comes to healing the body and creating a regular blood flow to the body.

Being an ancient tradition, its age-old practice speaks for its credibility and efficacy. So can everyone perform this? No. It is to be given by trained acupuncturists, traditional Chinese healers, naturopathic doctors, chiropractors, and massage therapists.

Its performance needs practice as well as precision which is not something attained in the blink of an eye. So how does it work? Several steps are to be performed before determining how cupping works in the body.

How does cupping work?

✅ Preparation

The first step involves the sterilization of the cups and preparation of the body before the procedure begins. Cups could made of glass, plastic, or bamboo. Silicone cups are also widely popular.

While they are boiled in distilled water, the skin is prepared by applying an oil-based lotion to reduce the friction when cups are stuck onto it. Sometimes natural oils are also used in place of chemical lotions to give the user a soothing effect.

✅ Application of cups

The next step involves making the cup stick to your body. This is done in two ways. Some practitioners go for fire cupping, involving fire to create a vacuum inside the cup, and some modern cupping methods include pumping air into the cups to create a specific vacuum.

When the air inside the cup is given a few moments, it cools down and creates the vacuum needed for them to hold to the specific areas they are fixed on.

✅ Placement and duration

The cups are placed with proper spaces between each one for at least 15 minutes. When the cups are left for a while, they could turn the skin into red or purple. However, this is nothing to panic about since the skin would soon return to normalcy.

✅ Removal and aftercare

Now after the desired period, the cups are released slowly by tilting their sides. Some practitioners also use suction pumps to release the vacuum and ease out the friction. In any case, the cups loosen and are easy to remove. After this, the practitioner might give the area a light massage to help enhance blood circulation.

benefits of cupping therapy

✅ Pain relief

Pain can completely change your life, especially when the cause is difficult to zero in on. Therefore you can depend on cupping therapy to relieve your back and neck along with muscle tension and cramps that often tighten the area.

✅ Improved circulation

Our body could be aching due to the inflammation of various parts of the body and this can be treated by ensuring proper blood flow. Cupping therapy can ensure this and therefore could be a fine solution.

✅ Stress reduction

Many people depend on cupping therapy as a way to release the tension in the muscles and therefore relax. It can also help release stress.

✅ Muscle recovery

Athletes and sports persons often adopt cupping therapy as their way of getting proper release from strenuous activities they indulge in as a part of their games.

Risks of cupping therapy

✅ Skin irritation

It is one of the most visible after-effects of cupping. The skin turns red or purple which could be uncomfortable for some individuals. Redness, mild burns, or bruising could take over a week to resolve.

✅ Pain or discomfort

Some people complain about pain in the area where cupping is performed. It is possible that the suction in the cups could create pain for some individuals whose skin is particularly sensitive.

✅ Potential for burns

We cannot completely discard the possibility of developing burn patterns on the body if fire cupping is not performed with care and attention.

✅ Infection

Speaking of infection, it is of utmost importance that the cups are sterilized to avoid any kind of bacterial or viral transfer.

✅ Blood clotting disorders

Individuals on blood thinners should avoid it as bleeding is easily possible while cupping.

The recovery time for cupping therapy depends on the individual. It is, however, important to pay heed to all the instructions given by the medical practitioner after the procedure.

The bruises which shall be visible for a short period should be given enough leeway to be healed. Additionally, you should always visit a doctor if the situation seems worse.


Cupping therapy has been widely used by people who are suffering from pain issues. Though the procedure seems to be complicated with the cups placed directly onto the skin, its effects are highly appreciable.

The procedure includes creating a vacuum in the cups to be placed on the body which might then regulate the blood flow to the body. However, it shouldn’t be performed by amateurs as it requires quite an amount of skill and precision.

Additionally, its benefits are multifaceted when it comes to healing muscle tension and reducing stress. Its risks should not be overlooked either. In any case, you should visit a doctor immediately if you feel uncomfortable in any way. It might or might not work for you but your body should be taken care of anyway.


Dr. Jun Ren is a dedicated and experienced registered dietitian and nutritionist who is committed to helping people achieve their health goals through personalized nutrition plans. With a passion for promoting healthy eating habits and preventing chronic diseases, Dr. Ren has been able to assist numerous clients in improving their overall quality of life.

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