What is Cupping?


There are a variety of different massage techniques that help you feel more relaxed and provide you with lots of physical benefits. One of the more unusual therapies you might have seen is cupping therapy. If you’re not sure what cupping is and how it works, then read on to learn all about it.

What is it?

Cupping seems like it’s the latest trend in alternative medicine and massage therapy, but it has actually been around for thousands of years, as far back as ancient Egyptian times.

Cupping involves your massage therapist heating a glass cup, although other materials are used, by setting it alight. This might sound scary, but don’t worry! The flame is left to go out and then the cup is applied to your skin, creating a vacuum inside the cup as it cools down. The result is that your skin is effectively sucked up in into the cup.

The skin that is being “cupped” will become red as your blood vessels in that area expand from the pressure. Typically, anywhere from 1-7 cups are placed on your skin and are left there for a few minutes before being removed.

What are the benefits of cupping?

Cupping is commonly used as a form of deep tissue massage. It can help to relieve muscle pain and speed up recovery after exercise by increasing the blood flow to the affected area. Like other forms of massage, cupping also has a relaxing effect on most patients, which can lead to associated benefits such as lower stress levels and finding it easier to get to sleep at night.

As well as these benefits, the British Cupping Society states that cupping can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including migraines, high blood pressure, acne, varicose veins, arthritis, and fibromyalgia.

Any side effects?

The main side effect of cupping is that you’ll be left with dark, circular marks where the cups were applied to your body. These may look strange, but they will fade over time and should be completely gone after 7-10 days. These areas may also feel slightly bruised, although they are not technically bruises.

If not treated properly by a fully-trained therapist, the cupped areas can be susceptible to skin infection. Your therapist may use an antibiotic ointment on the area to prevent this.

Here at Moonstone, we offer cupping therapy to patients in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Get in touch with us to book a session or to find out more about our therapies and treatments. If a friend or family member is interested in cupping or another one of our treatments, then you can also buy a gift certificate for our services.