Cupping Massage Therapy

Cupping massage is another form of cupping therapy, which is commonly practiced in traditional Chinese medicine. Over the years, cupping massage has gained some popularity in the field of alternative treatment.

It is believed that the results produced from this simple therapy are in fact effective.


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The therapeutic applications of Chinese cupping massage have been documented in clinical studies.

How does it work?

Cupping massage is a technique that combines massage movements and negative pressure that is brought about with the help of some suction device. The cup is placed on the area that needs treatment, and the vacuum that is created will depend on the type of cup used. This will draw the underlying tissue and skin into the cup. This vacuum then creates a suction effect which further increases both lymphatic and blood circulation. It also helps to relax the muscle tissue in the area. Thus, through negative pressure and suction, a cupping massage will help to ease rigid soft tissue, drain excess fluid and toxins, tighten connective tissue, and loosen adhesions. It also helps to improve the flow of blood to the muscles and skin surface.

What kind of equipment is used for a cupping massage?

There are different types of cupping massages, depending on the type of cup used and the manner in which it is applied. Some of the different types of cups are as follows.

Vacuum cup: A vacuum cupping massage is an excellent anti-cellulite massage that can be performed by using a massage cupping glass and some massage cream or oil. Vacuum cups for this kind of massage are available for purchase on the Internet. You could also contact your local drug store for advice. Once you’ve bought a cup, there are some things to keep in mind before using it.

  • Make sure you disinfect your cupping glass before every use.
  • The area of the skin to be massaged should be greased with some cream, olive oil, or massage oil.
  • The duration of a suction cup massage should not be more than 20 minutes, with a five minute suction time and 15 minute relaxation time.
  • The therapy will produce a warm feeling over the body. However, if discomfort or pain is experienced the session should be stopped.

Ice cup: An ice massage cup is a patented, easy-to-use device that reduces the time taken for the cold to reach the muscles. It is used for pain relief in cases of tendonitis, sprains, and muscle strains.

Hot cup: A hot cup massage involves using fire to cause a vacuum in the cup which is then placed onto the body of the patient. The cups are then pulled off after around 15 minutes.

Rubber cups: You could also try some rubber massage cups instead of glass ones.

One advantage of using rubber cups is that they will not break. They also do not require heat for suction to be created like glass cups do.

For more information on the types of cups and the manner in which to use them, you can try to locate a massage cupping training center. These should be able to provide you with guidance as well as training if you want to become a massage cupping therapist.


Some of the cupping massage benefits include the following:

  • Eliminates toxins: A cupping massage is an effective way to get rid of toxins from the body. When a vacuum is created in the cup, a negative pressure is applied. This pressure affects the tissues four inches below the skin’s surface, which helps in the release of toxins. The pressure is also effective in removing blockages in the various body systems like the circulatory system.
  • Improved circulation: Increased blood circulation can also be brought about by cupping. The suction created in the cupping massage forces blood to flow to the massaged area. The increased circulation also increases the energy flow and activates the lymphatic system.
  • Pain relief: A cupping massage helps reduce inflammation of tissues. This can help increase range of motion, improve flexibility, and control pain.
  • Mental benefits: A cupping massage also has therapeutic benefits like decreasing anxiety and depression. It is believed that the happy hormone ‘serotonin’ is released during the massage, which helps bring about relaxation.

What are the different types of cupping techniques?

Some of the various types of cupping techniques include:

  • Weak cupping (tonifying)
  • Strong cupping (draining)
  • Medium cupping (tonifying)
  • Needle cupping (Draining)
  • Moving cupping
  • Moxa cupping (Hot needle)
  • Empty (flash) cupping
  • Full (bleeding) cupping
  • Herbal cupping
  • Water cupping

In the weak cupping technique, the fire used to create the suction is less intense and so is the suction. This makes it a mild treatment and can be practiced on people of all ages. The medium cupping technique is firmer than the weak cupping technique and can be used on children over the age of seven. Some of the benefits of medium cupping include dealing with conditions related to stress and muscular pains. The strong cupping technique is considered the firmest and can be tiring for the persons on whom it is performed. It is opted for when there is a need to eliminate toxins and imbalances that bring about diseases.

Cupping massage therapy is considered by practitioners to be effective in the treatment of pains and aches in the legs, back, shoulders, neck, head and teeth. However, cupping massage is not helpful with problems to the internal organs. The number of cups used on a patient will vary with the size of the patient and the condition present.

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