Cupping is an adjunct therapy in the Chinese Medicine repertoire that has recently been popularized by athletes such as Michael Phelps at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

There are a few varieties of cupping. Fire cupping, shown here, is the practice of placing heated glass cups on the body, usually on the back, for pain relief. Our acupuncturist uses fire cupping. We also provide another type, which uses glass cups topped with tiny suction cups; you can ask for this from some of our massage therapists.

The Process

Usually, two to six cups per treatment are used. The cups can be placed nearly anywhere on your body. The cup creates a suction effect, which sucks the skin away from the tissue below. Your practitioner will leave each cup on your skin for five to fifteen minutes, then gently pulls the cup away.

Cupping can leave a mild mark on the skin that fades within two days. More intense treatments can leave a mark for two to four days. Dark marks, such as those seen on/popularized by Michael Phelps at the 2016 Olympics, are from very intense treatments and are not typical.

Don’t worry! The mark from a cupping treatment is not a bruise. Bruises are painful; cupping marks do not hurt.

Want to try cupping?

Book your session online! Select “New Patient Acupuncture” or “Massage with Cupping”, and discuss cupping with your practitioner at your session.