Cup or Not to Cup?

By Ross Ashcraft

If you’ve never experienced Cupping, you just have to try it!  It’s a great way to relieve stress and promote a healing response in your body.  The body holds onto so much tension.  This tension becomes fertile ground for all sorts of conditions to take root. Tradition Deep Tissue or Trigger Point massage requires muscle and endurance to dispel this tension.  Your therapist has to dig into your knots and break up the problems you have in your skin, muscle, tendons, and bones.  Instead, Cupping draws the unhealthy tissue up and away from other fibers that it is attached to and inspires a faster tissue healing response.

Is this a new thing?

Many celebrities have been “caught” recently sporting cupping marks on their back.  But in fact, Cupping has been around for millennium.  Most agree that is was a part of many ancient tribal cultures throughout the world.  These cultures used horns, bones, hollowed nuts or gourds, bamboo, or even seashells to generate a

great therapeutic effect in the body.  In Egypt we can see Cupping being used in their hieroglyphic writings.  Hippocrates, the famous Greek physician responsible for the Hippocratic Oath to which all doctors adhere, prescribed Cupping for many ailments.  There is even written records from 281 A.D. of a Chinese alchemist Ge Hong using it in his practice.

Order EquipmentHow does Cupping work!

A Cupping therapist is attempting to pull out a variety of problems that the tissue could be holding.  The cups are left in place or are glided over the treatment area.  A variety of tools can be used, but the most common are silicone suction cups or glass fire cups.  Once the cup is placed, the negative pressure created by the cup will inspire rapid soft tissue release.  Therefore, instead of pushing the problem “In” we draw the problem “Out!”

What immediate results can you expect?

1) Pulls unnecessary toxins and metabolic wastes out of the body

2) Reduces stretch marks

3) Help clear up varicose veins

4) Relief in muscle tension

5) Reduction of knots and trigger points

6) Stimulate the lymph and cardiovascular system to promote health

7) Clears colon blockages when used in the abdominal area

What long term problems can it affect?

1) Asthma

2) Fibromyalgia

3) High Blood Pressure

4) Anxiety and Fatigue

5) Headaches and Migraines

6) Neuralgia

Cupping is amazing and provides excellent relief to the client.  It is additionally, physically less demanding on the therapist.  Joy Dyer is a graduate of Community Care College massage.  She received additional training from the International Cupping Association and is a practitioner in the Tulsa area.  Here is what she has to say about her experience with Cupping:

Joy Dyer 2“I read an article in Massage Magazine and knew I needed to incorporate it into my practice.  Cupping allows me access to an angle I can’t get with tradition pressure massage…Some clients can’t handle deep tissue but actually need it. Cupping gives the effect of deep tissue without the pressure. My clients have less pain and feel more relaxed after cupping therapy.”  Contact Joy at 9188332973 if you are interested in experiencing this great modality.


What is your opinion?  Do you think we can change the body through something as simple as suction?  Could it be that simple?

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41 thoughts on “Cup or Not to Cup?”

  1. I had no idea that cupping helped so many disorders. I think it would be interesting to try. Thanks for the info.

  2. I liked that this is easier on the therapist but holding an open flame next to their skin was a little concerning, and their skin is being pulled to tight does not look comfortable, but don’t judge something till you have tried it.

  3. Cupping is a great way to work on clients that dont want the hurt associated with deep tissue and is very effective. The suction can be adjusted to each client to there level of comfort. I to use Cupping in my practice and generally my clients expect it now. I suggest if you can make it to the demo you should, Joy is very knowledged in this area, she is how I came to know and use it.

  4. I met a guy at an event that did cupping in his practice. I thought it was so cool. Im a little curious what it feels like. Do we get a demonstration of this in class?

    1. Yes, Keagan. We have a demonstration on the Community Care College campus, during the day on September 18th at noon & September 24th at 5:30.

      1. Ah man I got to go there twice in a day. Lol it’s always something about techniques, maybe I like to go for the jack of all trades. See you at noon. Oh but blog wise, that’s pretty darn cool. Tho between towels, stones, tuning forks, cookers, pads, heaters, ice packs. I might have to sell that Subaru and buy myself a van to pack in all that healing goodness…by the way the little number thing _x4=28…..not gunna lie it took me a while to figure that out for some reason. Ima massage therapist, not a mathematician

  5. Thanks for the article. I will share this on my FB Pro Page. I have been cupping for a little over a year of my 26 years in practice. Cupping is phenomenal! I get faster results using less energy. I get results with body issues that I can’t affect with my two hands alone. I often feel like I have more than two hands as I can leave cups on someone’s back to affect that tissue as I work on their legs or visa versa. I learned at the International Cupping Therapy Association. They ROCK!!!

  6. I love cupping. I had it performed on me while I was studying abroad in China in 2006. It was an amazing experience.

  7. This is really cool! I had only seen this for the first time on the new karate kid. I was wondering what it was all about. I’m excited to try it because I can’t handle the super deep tissue I need to feel better!

  8. I’ve seen this done in a movie before, and the idea was that it heals internal bruises and sore bones. I’m excited to try this therapy and see how it might work!

  9. I found the cupping therapy to be very interesting. I would like to try it and see how it feels and how it works for me. I think it’s a good idea specially if you have some problem areas that you need worked on, like your feet, or your neck. I hadn’t ever heard of cupping till I seen the demo today. It was very exciting.

  10. It was really cool seeing how the cups kept suction as they slide across the skin.
    It seems like a great way to work out deep tension on a pressure sensitive client.
    Stationary cups leave groady coloring.

  11. I think cupping is a very interesting modality. We had a demonstration yesterday and if I get a chance to try it I will most definitely take it.

  12. I want to have a session so bad!!!!! It looks uncomfortable, but I love deep tissue massage and this doesn’t seem like it would be strenuous on the therapist like traditional deep tissue can be. It’s amazing that something that simple can be very beneficial to the body. It’s a work smarter not harder kind of modality. Also, if it can help stretch marks, sign me up. 😀

  13. Yes I do believe that the body can be changed through cupping. I believe that cupping will further someone’s career as well as bring in more clients for a massage therapist. I would like to pursue this in my career.

  14. The cupping demonstration blew my mind. It was something I don’t know that I’d ever get certified to do, but wouldn’t mind getting done. It was really different. While it looked uncomfortable I never heard mrs.Sharron complain. The way it pulls all the toxins up and you can actually see them is so neat. It was a really cool technique.

  15. This is an awesome awesome awesome thing to watch get done and im sure to preform. im very jealous sharon got it done and not me.. i thought i was the favorite but i guess i was mistaken!

  16. My grandma use to do this on me when I got sick as a child, I always thought it was pretty cool!!! It leaves marks for like two weeks though!!!

  17. I think we can change the body with something as simple as suction! I attended the cupping demonstration this past fall and really enjoyed it!

  18. I am very interested in this modality. I have not had the chance to experience it or see it performed but have read and heard a great deal about it. I think that it could have a very profound effect on people. In my opinion the suction on the tissue should stimulate the body to send more blood and oxygen therefore aiding in the healing process.

  19. I am very interested in cupping! The logic behind it is solid, pull the toxins out instead of pressing them in!

  20. Cupping sounds like real practical therapy. I had no idea it could relieve so many ailments. There are so many advertising angles from cosmetic,varicose veins, to medical,migraine headaches. I could envision many possibilities and benefits adding cupping to my prerequisite. It’s been around for centuries, I would be curious to see if it would work on my varicose veins on my ankles.

  21. Cupping sounds like a easier technique to use on a clients that allows you to save your hands from a deep tissue massage and yet still be very effective. As well as offering a excellent relief of benefits to the client such as “Cupping” pulls unnecessary toxins and metabolic wastes out of the body and deduces stretch marks, plus many more benefits.
    I hope I can practice this technique sometime soon!

  22. I get migraines here and there and it’s extremely painful, I’ll try almost anything to help ease the pain. So if cupping can actually help with easing my migraines up, I’m down to try it!

  23. Cupping looks. Good and scary all at the same time remember the demo we saw from Joy who came to our class I would highly recommend her, enjoyed her demonstration.

  24. I am extremely interested in this modality. It is very different and takes a lot of demand off the massage therapist’s body.

  25. This is very new to me, It sounds interesting and something I would like to learn more about. It makes a lot of sense to me that all the toxics we have in our body can be released by cupping. I just may have to give it a shot.

  26. Cupping is done with either heat and cups or it can also be done with a cupping technique that is done with a vacuodermie machine from France. We have been cupping and using the device to break down cellulite, healing leg pain, helping people loose weight and more. The vacuodermie is really great as it works quickly and can be done on all parts of the body. Lymphatic drainage is also incorporated with this treatment. We have seen amazing results over the past 15 years!