Cupping Therapy

Due to the popularity of cupping since the Olympics, I have gotten all sorts of questions about the cupping I offer at Northwest Medical Massage. Here are some FAQS & Answers.

What are the benefits?

By creating suction this therapy relieves muscle tension, increases flexibility & range of motion, loosens scar tissue, lifts decompressed muscle tissue, detoxifies the body, relieves stress, releases joint stiffness, and increases blood circulation. Another great benefit is that it feels really good!

The pulling action engages the parasympathetic nervous system, thus allowing a deep relaxation to move through the entire body. It is not unusual to fall asleep when receiving this treatment. Those who receive cupping, often remark how relaxed, warm, and light they feel for hours… sometimes even days after the treatments.

Cupping in very beneficial for many conditions such as:

  • high blood pressure
  • diabetes
  • sciatica
  • insomnia
  • colon disorders
  • fatigue
  • poor circulation
  • edema
  • sports injuries & scar tissue
  • nervous tension & anxiety
  • chronic headache
  • fibromyalgia
  • rheumatism & neuralgia
  • menstrual problems
  • common cold
  • facial paralysis
  • acne
  • asthma
  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • whiplash
  • frozen shoulder
  • plantar fasciitis
  • tennis and golfer’s elbow
  • General discomfort and pain

Who can receive cupping?

Many people of all ages can receive cupping therapy. Even children benefit greatly from it. (My kids LOVE it) It is highly advisable to always communicate with your cupping therapist of any condition that you currently have or had in the past. Whether it is medical, skin, pregnancy, or anything else, please inform me!

Under what circumstances is cupping therapy prohibited?

Cupping therapy is contraindicated (forbidden) in these cases:

  • Pregnancy; unless the pregnant woman has been receiving cupping therapy prior to the pregnancy, then she is able to receive the treatment after the first trimester
  • dis-locations and broken bones
  • Hernias
  • slipped discs
  • organ failurefire cups
  • those undergoing chemotherapy
  • skin damage and/or Burns
  • muscle or ligament sprain 5-6 weeks old
  • tendon rupture
  • infection
  • bone or stress fracture
  • acute injuries less than 24 hours old
  • internal or external bleeding
  • internal or external ruptures

There are different kinds of cupping? What kind do you use?

There are many cupping methods, but the most popular are- Soma (Silicone) Cupping, Vacuum Cupping, Biomagnetic Cupping, Facial Cupping  & Fire Cupping. There are benefits to each, but these are some important things to know:

  •  Soma, or silicone cups are often a great intro to cupping. They easily change shape which makes for an amazing array of places these cups can be fit and used on the body such as elbows, knees, shoulder blade, hands, feet, abdominal, shoulders, cupping picspine, ribs, etc. With their flexibility gliding over bony prominences, it is very comfortable for the clients. When moving, they also are less likely to leave marks from treatment.
  • Vacuum Cups are made from a hard plastic with a valve that connects to a pump at one end. This form of cupping allows the therapist to create a more highly adjustable suction level that is great for a variety of treatments including Scar tissue reduction, cellulite treatment, detoxing, digestive treatments, and sciatic pain.
  • Biomagnetic Cupping  & Biomagnetic Field Therapy holds so many all encompassing, powerful effects that no one description of how they exert their positive therapeutic effects could adequately describe all the myriad and complex ways it effects mind and body. Health is based upon the individual cells of the body vibrating at a characteristic normal frequency. Disease, on the other hand, represents an abnormal change in cellular vibration. The therapeutic application of magnets, at the deepest level, is based on the principle of restoring normal cellularbioblanket cupping vibration, positively influencing the relationships throughout the entire body-mind process. Shown is a Biomagnetic Blanket Treatment that is highly effective for anxiety/depression, and people suffering from ADHD.
  • Facial Cupping (Rejuvenating Facial Massage) benefits include increased local circulation of the skin, increased nutrients brought to the epidermis, and enhanced absorption of facial topicals. The drainage of stagnant fluids from reservoir areas will reduce edema and chronic puffiness. Lines & wrinkles will plump whereas scar tissue will soften from the negative pressure, making it an exceptionally powerful and surprisingly relaxing treatment. The muscles of the face benefit greatly from the reduction of tension & tightness, releasing expression lines and loosening rigid muscles associated with TMJ disorders as well as clearing & releasing congested sinuses by reducing inflammation.
  • Fire Cupping is the most traditional form of cupping therapy that dates back centuries & has been utilized for a variety of the benefits listed above. “Flash Cupping” is when a blanket of cups cover a large area of the body at once then are removed and replaced in the areas in-between to cover a big territory in a short amount of time- often the back. Each treatment is unique to you on that particular day. Cupping can “mark” the skin temporarily if there is an injury or energetic blockage under the area that was cupped. Once the marks have cleared, the procedure can be repeated until the condition or ailment is resolved.


What can I expect as far as physical effects from cupping?

The after effects of cupping are most intense at the beginning of receiving treatments, and lessen dramatically as your system becomes accustomed to the treatments as they accumulate. Besides the effects cupping provides for specific conditions, injuries and illnesses, some of the general after effects include:

  • The need for sleep
  • intense hunger  (munchies) or no appetite
  • similar to post deep tissue massage
  • nausea
  • euphoria
  • feelings of being “hung over”
  • increased bowel elimination
  • stronger body odor (detox)
  • “best night’s sleep in years”
  • inability to sleep
  • vivid dreams
  • night sweats
  • heightened senses ( smell, sight, sound)
  • craving for certain foods
  • thirst & cottonmouth
  • emotional release
  • stronger than normal bowel & urine odors
  • skin surface warmer-than-normal
  • chills
  • restless (wanting to clean, organize, etc.)
  • soreness, like after strenuous exercise
  • feeling of reduced mass, increased height
  • headachy

What are the discolorations or marks that may appear during the treatment?

The most common and unfortunate misconception concerning cupping is the misinterpretation of the mark sometimes resulting from the treatment. (I call these Octopus Kisses or Crop Circles) All those marks may look painful and something like a bruise, they are not.

The markings are a direct result of stagnate cellular debris & toxins being brought to the surface of the skin. When circulation is sluggish or compromised in an injured or diseased area of the body, insufficient oxygen gets to the cells. This causes a local buildup of waste products. These will then be brought to the surface and away from the injury so that healthy circulation can be restored to the affected area. As a result oxygen and nutrients will be carried to the area for faster recovery.

Usually, the practitioner will see the greatest amount of deposits being drawn to the surface in the first few treatments – this is a good thing.  The deposits will lessen in intensity as the deeper issues are resolved and the stagnations and toxins have been dredged up and flushed out via the body’s own circulatory systems and expulsion from the pores. Sweating is a great after treatment follow up to help get rid of the garbage you’ve released.

Those who have received the treatment typically feel immediate sense of relief, warm, change, and flexibility. The discoloration fades within hours or up to two weeks depending on the amount of stagnation.

Cupping can be added on to most sessions & your first cupping add-on is on me!

After that it is only $10 extra. Book your treatment & let me know what you think!