Medical Cupping

Medical cupping therapy is a specialized type of cupping therapy that has emerged in the last decade. This treatment has demonstrated immediate effects on many conditions including:

  • Deep tissue and structural issues – Old injuries and chronic movement patterns
  • Arthritis, Tendonitis, Bursitis
  • Scarring – Old, new, keloid, post-surgery
  • Loose skin and old deposits from weight loss
  • Lymphoedema – General and post-surgery
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Sports – Injuries and post-event conditions
  • Diabetes
  • Cellulite
  • Vascular issues – Spider veins and varicosities
  • COPD
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • IBS
  • Acid Reflux

Each body reacts uniquely to this accumulation of debris and stagnation, and we see examples of degeneration occurring at younger ages more than ever before. Ordinarily healthy people become fatigued and sluggish due to the cumulative effects of their lifestyle and eventually move into the “dis-eased” state. This may help to explain the high level of autoimmune disorders that exist.

Think about the elements of living today such as intake of medications, acidic diets, and a high-stress / no-rest pace, all producing a constant state of inflammation. This literally “cooks” the water right out of the body tissues. How many people actually absorb the water that they drink? Water is eliminated from the lymph as well, leaving it thick and unable to flow. This internal heat also fuses the soft tissue, closing the space between layers where the lymph should move freely.

We are water-based beings. Since cells eliminate their wastes into the interstitial fluid, which becomes part of the lymph, then what happens when this system becomes blocked? Would not the cell and tissue functions become sluggish, thus affecting the larger organism? What if we clear the drainage system and create the space for lymph to flow again? This is accomplished by the separation of tissue and the ability to carry stagnation via the suction of the cup. This is only enhanced by the increased blood flow that brings oxygen and nutrition to the cells and tissues, boosting all levels of metabolism. What a significant change this is for a multitude of people!

After very few sessions, the tissues can finally absorb water and nutrition and retain a healthy moist state. This enables elimination of new wastes that can otherwise re-accumulate and cause allergies, inflammation, or sensitivities. Another benefit of this technique is increased vascular integrity and stimulated collagen production to aid in toning flaccid tissue. A unique quality of these modalities is the “lifting without force.” Even when working on deep scars and adhesions, fibrous tissue, or fascia that has retained memory from incident or injury, the technique is comfortable and works very quickly.

Think of the impact of clearing and opening the body systems all the way down to a cellular level, as well as releasing old compensatory patterns that are no longer beneficial. A new cycle begins with the replication of healthier cells turning into healthier tissue systems, a recaptured homeostasis that leads to wellness, despite age or history.

Current cupping therapies are adaptations of an ancient technique and possess the benefits of traditional use, along with many incredible new applications. This therapy utilizes glass or plastic cups and a vacuum pistol, bulb, or machine to create suction on the body surface. These cups are moved over the skin using gliding, shaking, popping, and rotating techniques while gently pulling up on the cup. They also may be parked for a short time to facilitate joint mobilization or soft tissue release. This suction reaches deep into the soft tissue, attachments and organs and also has a sedating effect on the nervous system. Another benefit is to pull inflammation and toxins from the body tissues so that the skin and lymphatic system can readily eliminate them. Scar tissue often releases quickly, despite the age of the injury or keloid tendencies.

One of the most amazing aspects of this technique is the “separation” that the vacuum produces in tissue layers. This enables water absorption and renewed blood flow to undernourished and dehydrated tissue, which is invaluable in pre- and post-surgery treatments. It is evident that separation of fused, congested soft tissue and increase in tissue function can be a catalyst for change in many current health conditions.

Traditional Chinese Medicine observes that cupping dispels stagnation of blood and Chi, along with external pathogenic factors that invade a weakened constitution. A depleted constitution is often the result of depleted “Jing Chi” or original essence. This will often progress to a weakened “Wei Chi” or defense (immune system).

Early written records in China date from 28 A.D. A traditional Chinese saying, “Acupuncture and Cupping … more than half the ills cured.”

Vacuum therapy can be used to move stagnation, relieve inflammation, and drain/move fluids. The action is similar to the action of fomentations/hot compresses. The mechanism is to draw blood from the arteries to the capillaries. The blood then returns via the veins to be cleansed or disposed of. Medical cupping is not an irritant to the skin or body. It draws the inflammation out but does not add to it.

Physiological Effects of Medical Cupping

  • Release deep muscular (soft tissue and organs) issues
  • Release and soften scar tissue and adhesions
  • Lift and stretch soft tissue
  • Open chest and lungs
  • Improve circulation and tone vessel walls
  • Alkalize blood
  • Drain lymph fluid
  • Sedate the nervous system
  • Open energy flow of the body
  • Decrease or relieve pain and inflammation (counter-irritant effect)


  • Tight or hardened soft tissue
  • Pain and restriction of movement
  • Scar tissue
  • Edema
  • Restricted lymphatic flow and circulation
  • Inflammation of joints