What is Cupping?

Cupping is an ancient Chinese therapy in which a cup is applied to the skin and the pressure in the cup is reduced using a suction pump in order to draw and hold skin and superficial muscles inside the cup. Sometimes, while the suction is active, the cup is moved, causing the skin and muscle to be pulled. This is called gliding cupping.

Cupping is applied to certain parts of the body that have been affected by pain, where the pain is deeper than the tissues to be pulled.

Cupping can result in decolourisation of the skin, and can leave behind a dark purple mark which can often be mistaken for trauma and bruising of the muscle, but is actually an indication of stagnation that has been move from deeper layer to the surface. The colour and pattern of marks depends on the severity of damage in the area, and range from bright red to dark purple usually lasting for days to a week sometimes longer.

What Cupping Can Help?

Cupping is generally recommended for the treatment of pain, gastrointestinal disorders, lung diseases (especially chronic cough and asthma), and paralysis, although it does have application for other problems.


Cupping can affect the body up to four inches into the tissues, causing the tissues to release toxins, activate the lymphatic system, clear colon blockages, activate and clear the veins, arteries and capillaries, activate the skin, clear stretch marks, and improve the appearance of varicose veins, and therefore promote blood circulation, and is good for deep tissue repair.