Cupping is a therapy that was born in China. By placing cups on the skin to create suction that may facilitate healing with blood flow. Many Taoist’s says cupping helps to balance the negative and positive, within the body also restoring balance between these two. It also enhances the body’s resistance to pathogens as well as its power to increase blood flow and reduce pain.

Where the cups are placed, blood circulation to the area increases. Thus may relieve muscle tension, which can raise overall blood flow and promote cell repair ability. And so many new blood vessel connections are created.

History of Cupping Therapy

Many proponents claim the suction helps facilitate the flow of “qi” (Qi is a Chinese word meaning life force) in the body. Ge Hong, known as famous alchemist and herbalist first practiced cupping, he lived from A.D. 281 to 341. Cupping is an ancient therapy that’s been used in China and the Middle East for over 2,000 years effectively.

Different Types of Cupping

Historically cups were made of bamboo or clay, but nowadays plastic and glass are often used. The main physical mechanisms of cupping involves a suction. This suction is created either using a flame (the flame isn’t applied to your skin) or suction valve.  The air inside the cup is burned off using the flame then the cup is immediately applied to the skin. As our individual skin type is not the same, various cups have been created that they can be used to not only smooth parts of your body but also contoured surfaces.

There are mainly two types that exist, they are: Dry cupping and Wet cupping.


Dry cupping is completely noninvasive and is used to increase blood circulation, loosen tissues, and relax the nervous system. 


Wet cupping is similar to the dry cupping process but takes the whole process a step further. In this process, small incisions are added to the cupped area in order to bleed it. To do the whole process perfectly it should be performed in a sterile environment with sterile instruments.

The Different Way of Cupping

In the hands of a skilled practitioner, cups can be used in various ways such as:

  • Cupping with retention – Keeping the cups extra 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Quick cupping – Removing the cups quickly when skin is sucked.
  • Shaking cupping – Slowly lifting the cups over acupuncture.
  • Moving cupping – Cups over the skin or acupuncture points.
  • Balance cupping – a mix of the above cupping system.
Cupping Therapy or Treatment Process

At first, a cup is placed on the skin and then heated or suctioned onto the skin. The cup is normally heated with fire by using alcohol, herbs, or paper that’s placed directly into the cup. When the cup is heated than the fire source is removed and applied onto your skin.

Nowadays practitioners are very comfortable and professional with using modern rubber pumps to create suction versus more traditional heat methods. Generally, hot cups are placed on your skin then the air inside the cup will cool down and create a vacuum that pulls the skin and muscle upward. Thus your skin may turn a red colour as the blood vessels respond to the change in pressure.

The process is simple as inside the hot cup, it creates a vacuum that draws the skin and muscle upward into the cup. As the blood vessels respond to the change in pressure so it may create a red spot on your skin. With dry cupping, the cup is applied between 5 and 10 minutes and wet cupping, it is placed only for a few minutes before the practitioner removes the cup and makes a small incision to draw blood.

After the treatment, the previously cupped areas are covered with ointment and bandages to prevent infection. But mild bruising or other marks may need up to 10 days to subside. Cupping can be performed with acupuncture treatments and for the best results, you may eat only light meals for two to three hours before your cupping session.

What Conditions can Cupping Treat and When to Avoid It

Cupping has been applied to treat a wide variety of conditions, particularly effective at easing conditions that create muscle aches and pains. But the practice is possibly effective at treating digestive issues, skin issues, and other conditions commonly treated with acupressure. One studies suggest that cupping therapy’s healing power may be more than just a placebo effect. The researchers found that cupping therapy also helps such conditions:

  • shingles
  • facial paralysis
  • cough and dyspnea
  • acne
  • lumbar disc herniation
  • cervical spondylosis
  • Back pain
  • Headache or migraine
  • Knee pain
  • Muscle pain and soreness
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Sports injuries and performance 

Cupping therapy isn’t recommended for the following groups:

  • Children under 4 years’ old
  • Elderly people. As our skin becomes more fragile as we age.
  • Pregnant women.
  • Currently menstruating women.
  • If you take blood-thinning medication.
  • You have sunburn, wound or skin ulcer.
  • If you have an internal organ disorder.
Causes of Cellulite

Cellulite occurs due to a genetic condition which causes fluid retention, it is an inefficient lymphatic drainage system and weak veins that cause ineffective blood circulation. Also, hormonal imbalances can be a cause for the development of more fat cells. And so fat cells lying under the skin creates the ungainly appearance of the dimpled, orange peel look on the skin that is a sign of cellulite.

How Cupping Therapy Helps

When cupping is performed, the suction is applied on the skin, the reverse pressure helps the cellulite to break up. It stimulated blood circulation and free fat and toxins that are moved to the lymph drainage network. It is also known as a fascia connecting the skin and muscle. Thus, the skin develops a more cellulite-free healthy appearance.

What Is Chinese Cupping?

The most ancient cupping method is applied to Chinese Cupping. They use small glass cups or bamboo jars that are placed on the skin to disperse and break up stagnation and congestion by drawing congested blood, energy or other.

What is Hijama?

‘Hijama’ is an Arabic word it means ‘drawing out’. Hijama is considered one of the safest, non-invasive and beneficial ways of curing and preventing many illnesses. Chinese use of this method to certain medical complications such as lung infection, colds, internal organ’ disorders, joint pain, etc, the scope of hijama’s benefits is much higher than this.

In this non-surgical procedure, toxic or ‘bad’ blood is drawn out from the body ‘hijama’ addressed some point to do so.

When should one Perform Hijama Therapy?

It is suggested that Hijama is practiced on the ‘odd’ days of the Lunar Calendar. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday are the best days for the treatments.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) advised against practicing Hijama on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesdays.

Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) describe that the Messenger (saw) said, “Hijama on an empty stomach is best. In it is a cure and a Blessing. It improves the intellect and memory.”

Area that Hijama Helps
  • Boosts the circulatory and immune systems
  • Cleanses and detoxifies the body
  • Treats illness and relaxes the patient
  • Pain relief
  • Fertility
  • Hijama is also very effective for treating many muscular, skeletal, neurological, immune, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive and urinary issues.
Facial Cupping

Cupping is a therapy that can be used to stimulate your facial skin and muscles. The suction raises blood circulation, that help relieves muscle tension, promote cell repair, and aid in other regeneration. Researchers say that the earliest pictorial records originated in ancient Egypt.

What are the Benefits of Facial Cupping?
  • Increase oxygen-rich blood circulation
  • Strengthen skin and connective tissues
  • Stimulate cells responsible for collagen production
  • Relax muscle tension
What you Experience After Facial Cupping
  • Brighten skin
  • Minimise the look of scars, fine lines, and wrinkles
  • Tone chin, jawline, neck, and décolletage
  • Decrease puffiness
  • Regulate oil production
  • Improve nutrient delivery and product absorption
Side Effects

This treatment has a minimal side effect. You may experience a side effect that will typically occur during your treatment or immediately after. You may feel lightheaded or dizzy, sometimes experience sweating or nausea. After treatment, the skin around the rim of the cup may become irritated and marked in a circular pattern with pain at incision sites. To avoid infection, you have to follow the right methods for cleaning your skin. Scarring, hematoma are another two side effects that you have to be aware of. Your practitioner should wear an apron, disposable gloves, also use clean equipment and have regular vaccines to ensure protection against certain diseases, like hepatitis. If you experience any of these issues, immediately consult your practitioner and follow the steps and remedies to avoid any discomfort.


Cupping is like the opposite of massage because in it pressure is applied to the soft tissue overlying muscle and bone to relieve pain, on the other hand, Cupping specialist uses suction cups to draw soft tissue from the surface of the body skin. Many patients said cupping can reduce chronic pain and helps respiratory ailments.

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