Cupping Therapy Benefits and Side Effects

You have probably seen it and for some people, cupping therapy looks overwhelming and frightening. But in reality, it’s one of the best therapies anyone could get. If you are not aware of what it is and what it can do to your body, you don’t have to worry. This article will serve as your guide to understand cupping therapy benefits and side effects.

What is Cupping Therapy?

This type of therapy uses special cups which will be placed on your skin to create suction. There are variety of reasons why people resort to cupping therapy. It can be to improve one’s blood flow, to relax muscles, and to generally improve well-being. Whatever your reason may be, cupping therapy is a must-try.

It is also believed that cupping therapy can boost the flow of ‘qi’ in the body. Qi, for those who are not aware, is a Chinese word for life force. It’s the energy that flows in your body.

History of Cupping Therapy

Cupping therapy has taken the world by storm in the recent years. But did you know that it has been in existence even in the ancient times? Ge Hong, a well-known herbalist and alchemist during A.D 281  to 341 is said to be the first one to practice this amazing method.

What are the Different Types of Cups?

Here’s another interesting fact. Did you know that people in the ancient times used animal horns for therapy? They are very resourceful indeed. In the modern times, there are variety of cups that experts use. It can be made of glass, bamboo, silicone, and even Earthenware.

The Main Types of Cupping Method

There are two methods of cupping widely used around the world. These are the dry and wet cupping.

Dry Cupping

It involves suction-only method.

Wet Cupping

This is done by suction and medicinal bleeding. Now, before you get scared, please bear in mind that this bleeding is controlled and we will explain it further in the next section.

What to Expect with Cupping Therapy?

During your session, your therapist will place a combustible substance inside the cup. This can be paper, alcohol, and even herbs. It will be then set on fire. The next step is that the therapist will place the cup upside down on your skin.

When the air inside the cup cools down, it will create a vacuum. Your blood vessel will expand and this will cause your skin to get red.

Now, with wet cupping, the cups will be left on your skin for three minutes. Your therapist will use a small and sterilized scalpel to create micro cuts onto your skin. Another suction will be in place to get out a small amount of blood.

You might want to use antibiotic ointment after your session to avoid any infection. Your skin should go back to normal in about two weeks or less.

What are Cupping Therapy Benefits and Side Effects?

It Helps You Relax

Don’t we all need to relax given all the stressors in our environment? You have your personal and professional obligations which are quite hard to balance at times. With cupping therapy, you can achieve that. It’s a soothing experience and again, we highly encourage for you to try it.

It Improves Blood Circulation

The cups provide negative pressure on the skin and it promotes new blood to flow. This is known to help in muscle recovery.

It Enhances Skin’s Elasticity

Do you want to maintain that youthful glow? Then cupping therapy can be solution. This method is also beneficial to the skin. By having regular sessions, your skin will regain its elasticity.

According to a number of studies, cupping can also help people suffering from the following health conditions:

  • Respiratory problems
  • Headaches
  • Herpes zoster
  • Infertility
  • Arthritis
  • Hypertension

Cupping Therapy Side Effects

While cupping therapy is generally safe, there are a few side effects that you have to watch out for:

  • Skin infections (mentioned above)
  • Soreness
  • Bruises
  • Discomfort


We don’t recommend cupping therapy for people with high fever, inflamed skin, people who bleed easily, and pregnant women.

If you wish to learn more read this article (click here), or if you want to see if you are a perfect candidate for cupping therapy, NRCHI Bodywork is the best place to go to. Contact us today!