Cupping is an Oriental therapy used to release stagnation and improve the lymph and blood circulation in the body.


multiple devices known as ‘cups’ are placed onto the skin to create a vacuum seal helping to relieve muscular pain and tension and left in place up to several minutes. This suction forces blood to pool into the ‘cup’ and hold there, when the cup is released, it disperses all of the fluid amassed into the circulatory system releasing any trapped toxins or stagnation that was there and stimulating the bodies own natural healing process, as well as clearing the pores. 

The cups can be made from glass, plastic, silicone, metal, earthenware, ceramic, or bamboo.

Typically, they are applied to the skin using a mild analgesic wax or oil, but can be attached using water, heat or blood. usually, the cupping will include Tui Na or a type of deep tissue massage alongside the cups and is often combined with Gua sha. The number of cups used will depend on the patient’s presentation and is at the discretion of the practitioner.


Cupping is used to treat:

  • inflammatory conditions – fibrosis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, Bursitis, fibromyalgia

  • Musculoskeletal pain anywhere – neck, shoulder, knee, back elbow pain

  • Nervous system issues – carpal tunnel, peripheral neuropathy, sciatica

  • Upper Respiratory conditions – asthma, bronchitis, allergies, bronchial congestion

  • Digestive issues – IBS, IBD

  • Headaches, migraines.

  • Hypertension.

  • Colds & flu

  • Anaemia, varicose veins

  • Eczema, acne

  • Fertility & gynaecological conditions

  • Anxiety & depression

  • Chronic ongoing health issues

cups guasha.jpg

After cupping, the patient may have some round-like marking called petechiae which fades within 7-14 days, this is not bruising but red raised millet sized dots like a rash where the toxins have come out of the capillaries at the same time as blood circulation in that area increases. They may cause some mild discomfort initially. Please discuss with the practitioner prior to treatment if this visible marking may be an issue.


Cupping as with most massage therapie’z is relatively safe when performed by a FULLY QUALIFIED, EXPERIENCED PROFESSIONAL; however, for some people the skin may react to the cups and the effects of releasing stagnation may make the patient feel different.

Some of the experiences may include:  

  • Small or minor Burns from heated cups.

  • Bruises

  • Fatigue

  • Headaches

  • Mild discomfort, Muscle tension or soreness

  • Nausea

  • Skin infections, itching or scarring.

  • Bloodborne diseases in wet cupping.

Cupping is often combined with Gua Sha as seen in the above picture. This petechiae may cause mild discomfort in the first 12 - 24 hours post treatment only. It will fade over the next 7 - 21 days depending on depth of treatment required. If the location of the petechiae or its visibility creates any concern please discuss this with the practitioner prior to treatment; this is especially important when wearing open-backed clothing for function for example.  

Cupping Aftercare Advice.

To gain the most from your Cupping treatment, its recommended to do the following:

  1. Increase your water intake over the following 7 days to enhance the detoxification process, you could also try more herbal or fruit teas and juices to assist the process.

  2. Avoid alcohol,  caffeine, energy drinks or recreational drugs for 24 hours after the treatment and 12 hours prior to treatment.

  3. Try to reduce or avoid smoking, vaping and all nicotine / tobacco products over the next 48 hours.

  4. Avoid strenuous activities, heavy exercise or long drives for 24 hours after treatment, your body needs time for Rest and Relaxation. 

  5. Avoid hot baths, Showers, Saunas, Sunbeds or Sunbathing for 12 hours after treatment. 

  6. Try to reduce stress, maybe try light exercise, going for a walk, breathing or mediation to help. 

  7. Avoid having any other treatments for 48 hours afterwards to prevent interactions occurring.

  8. Where oils have been used, please leave them on the skin as long as possible. 

  9. Follow any specific aftercare advice given following the treatment. 


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