What is Cupping Therapy? 7 Things You Need To Know

Health and Natural Healing Tips / Everyday Solutions  / What is Cupping Therapy? 7 Things You Need To Know

What is Cupping Therapy? 7 Things You Need To Know

It all started in 2016 when Michael Phelps took center stage with mysterious little circles on his back. Since then, it seems that everyone and their brother are singing the praises of cupping.

Some thought that once the hoopla died down, cupping would fall off the radar and a new trendy alternative medicine treatment would take it place. However, cupping proved us wrong and isn’t going anywhere soon.

Even if you’ve heard of cupping, you might not know what it can really do. So, here’s seven things you need to know when it comes to cupping therapy:

What is Cupping Therapy?

Although trendy, cupping is not new. Originating in China, cupping has been used for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine. In fact, its earliest use dates all the way back to the fourth century to Taoist alchemist, Ge Hong.

Types of Cupping

There are many types of cupping to try out. Each one has its own unique process that generates the same results.

Below are the four types of cupping that are used today:

Dry Cupping

The purpose of dry cupping is to draw any blood and fluid away from the inflamed area to the skin surface. Here’s how it works; a plastic cup is applied to the surface of your skin. Then, the air is sucked out through the use of a pump. You shouldn’t have cupping done if you have any open wounds. Dry cupping is able to be performed at any time of the day and can be left for about 15 minutes.

You can have multiple cups applied as well, however, the therapist must be present to keep an eye on them. If left unsupervised, the cups can cause unnecessary blistering. Any area that’s either inflamed or in pain can benefit greatly from dry cupping because it allows the blood to flow easier and relieves the congestion. One of the greatest aspects of dry cupping is that it can be repeated daily and is able to be self-administered on parts that are only accessible to the patient.

Wet Cupping

Wet cupping, also known as Hijama, works a bit differently than dry cupping. To start, tiny scratches are made to the skin surface using a sterile blade. This is done after dry cupping has been performed for at least three to five minutes. After the scratches are made, the cup is once again applied to the skin and pressure is exerted to extract the blood that has accumulated in the inflamed area.

If wet cupping is performed by a trained professional, you won’t have to worry about any kind of scarring. Wet cupping works best on an empty stomach, so try not to eat anything at least two to three hours before the treatment. Once the wet cupping is finished, do not try to do any kind of rigorous exercise for at least 24 hours. This means, no swimming, running, jogging or cycling. Furthermore, you must also refrain from taking a shower for 24 hours as well.

Don’t worry about side effects as the only significant one is itching. If you start to experience itchiness, apply olive or black seed oil to your skin. Not only will this help alleviate the itchiness, but it will also help in the natural healing process. Keep in mind that the plastic cups that were used cannot be re-used and must be disposed of using a clinical waste disposal program.

Fix Cupping

Fixed cupping is very simple, A few cups are placed on tender area and are left in place without being moved. The general purpose of this type of cupping is that it solely focuses on the designated areas.

Moving Cupping

Moving cupping involves oil and lots of it. The oil is applied to the inflamed area, usually the back, so it can be massaged. After the oil is applied, a cup is put on the skin using a light amount of pressure. Then, the cup can be moved around in long, circular motions. Similar to dry cupping, moving cupping is able to be performed at any time and day as well as for how long the patient wants.

Benefits of Cupping Therapy

The benefits of cupping encompass your entire body. From premature aging to painful joints, cupping therapy can be used to treat a variety of health complaints.

Slows Down the Aging Process

Drainage of stagnant fluid in the face can reduce the appearance of fine lines, reduce pore size, intensify your glow and eliminate puffiness, all without invasive cosmetic procedures.

Reduces Inflammation

Cupping was traditionally used to treat chronic pain syndromes like menstrual cramps, arthritis, and abdominal pain, all without medication or invasive surgery. The idea behind cupping is that the suction over the painful areas draws out congested blood and toxins, which improves circulation and decreases painful inflammation.

Detoxifies Your Body

Detoxification with cupping allows your body a chance to rid itself of free radicals and impurities. According to Trinacria Health Therapy Wollongong, skilled cupping therapists can actually speed up your body’s detoxification process by placing cups over specific areas of the body.

Reduces Stress

Cupping may also be effective in treating some of the physical manifestations brought about by stress. From migraine headaches to chronic muscle aches, when paired with acupuncture, cupping works on synergetic levels to help you better manage stress levels.

Respiratory Health

Cupping also opens your lungs by drawing mucous and toxins to the surface of your skin, which in turn, allows air to flow more freely. People suffering from coughs, colds, and asthma may see improvement after only one session.

Mood Booster

It might take some getting used to, but cupping can be more relaxing than a massage. By unblocking your qi and activating stagnant energy, cupping relaxes your mind, body and even improves your overall mood

Improves Your Skin

By releasing toxins underneath the skin, cupping allows your skin to clear itself of dirt and impurities that clog pores and cause fine lines and wrinkles. Facial cupping gives you a glow that radiates from the inside out.

Finding a Practitioner

As with any type of aesthetic or medicinal treatment, finding the practitioner is key. Make sure that your therapist is licensed and has completed extensive training in cupping as well. Finally, also look for complementary flow. How well you flow with your therapist makes all the difference in your end result. Finally, remember that self-care is for everyone, and it doesn’t need to be a big production. It’s all about finding time to take care of yourself, inside and out.


Stacey Chillemi


I am on a mission to transform the health of millions worldwide. Check out my website at staceychillemi.com. I am a popular and recognizable health and lifestyle reporter and expert, columnist and health host. Author of The Complete Guide to Natural Healing and Natural Remedies for Common Conditions, along with 20 other published books. I am the founder of The Complete Herbal Guide and a recognized health and natural remedies expert, with over 20 years in practice as a Health Coach. I write for the Huffington Post, Huff Post, Thrive Global and Medium (Owned by Arianna Huffington). I have been a guest on the Dr. Oz Show, local news, and numerous radio shows. My focus is on natural healing, herbal remedies, alternative methods, self-motivation, food for medicine, nutrition, fitness, natural beauty remedies and the power of positive thinking.



Get the Herbal Guide newsletter for fitness, nutrition tips, health news, remedies, and more.

Health and Natural Healing Tips