Cupping FAQ's

What is Cupping Therapy
Who does Cupping
What does it treat?
Where can I get Cupping done
About the marks
Workshop FAQ's

Q -What is Cupping Therapy

A - Negative pressure, rather than tissue compression is superior for bodywork for pain, stubborn conditions, repetitive strains, inflammation, toxicity, chronic fatigue, disgestive problems and a slough of other issue we confront as we grow older.

Suction cups rapidly facilitate rigid soft tissue release, loosens & lifts connective tissue, breaks up and drains stagnation while increasing blood & lymph flow to skin & muscles in ways not possible using compression.

Another benefit of Cupping is that it can feel really great when done properly for your constitution and current physiology and/or condition. The pulling action engages the parasympathetic nervous system, thus allowing a deep relaxation to move through the entire body. It is not unusual to fall asleep when receiving this treatment. You will be surprised at how relaxed, warm and light you'll feel – hours... sometimes even days afterwards.

Q -Who does Cupping

A - Nowadays, health practitioner of many modalities are using Cupping to assist them in providing more effective methods for healing and recovery. Massage Therapists, Acupuncturists, Physiotherapists, Sports Therapists, Nurses, Doctors - you can find a listing of those trained in Cupping (very important) - HERE.

Q -What does it treat?

A - Cupping is a powerful detoxifying, pain relieving and energy building modality that people all over the world use for health maintenance. But there are also a huge number of conditions that respond positively to Cupping

Q -Where can I get Cupping

A - Although Cupping Therapy is not as well known as other alternative therapies, there is a growing community of Therapists that provide a wide range of Cupping Treatments. Use this DATABASE to locate practititoners in your area. Discuss your issues to identify one who best suits your needs.

Q -Can I get training?

A - The prerequisite to take our training classes can be found using this link.

Use this link to see the different classes offered through the ICTA. You can see the classes listed by Date, Workshop and Instructor.

Workshop FAQ's

Q - What can I expect as far as physical effects from suction cup therapy?

A - The after effects of Cupping are most intense at the beginning of receiving treatments, and lessen dramatically as your system becomes accustomed to the treatments and as they accumulate. Besides the effects Cupping provides for specific conditions, injuries and illnesses, some of the general after effects include:

• the need for sleep
• intense hunger (munchies)
• no appetite

• similar to post deep tissue massage
• nausea

• euphoria
• feelings of being "hung over"
• increased bowel elimination
• stronger body odor (detox)
• "best nights sleep in years"
• inability to sleep
• vivid dreams

• night sweats
• heightened senses (smell, sight, sound)
• craving for certain foods
• thirst and cotton mouth
• emotional release
• stronger than normal bowel & urine odors
• skin surface warmer than normal
• chills
• restless (wanting to clean, organize, etc.)
• soreness, like after strenous exercise
• feeling of reduced mass, increased height
• headachey

Q - What's the explanation of the marks or discolorations that sometimes occur as a result from suction cup therapy?

A - One of the common and unfortunate misconceptions concerning cupping is the misinterpretation of the discoloration. “Bruising” is caused by impact trauma with breakage of capillaries and reactionary rush of fluids to the damaged area from the tissue compression/injury. There is no compression in properly employed suction cup therapy. Although it is quite common during Stationary Cupping (left static for 5 - 20 minutes) to achieve dramatic 'marks' or 'discolourations', the less aggressive action of moving the cups, minimizes the intensity and duration of the discolorations.

Wet Cupping involves the scarification (puncturing) or scoring of the tissue surface, for the purpose of draining out dredged up stagnation acheived during cupping treatments. Since we do not break the skin in Negative Pressure Massage, the dissipation of these fluid deposits must be dispelled and flushed out via the body's own circulatory systems.

Often, when a condition exists within deeper structures where sufficient pathologic factors and stagnant fluids (toxins, blood and lymph) are dredged up during treatment, discoloration will appear on the skin. This is the therapeutically desired effect – the more this is visible, the greater the level of stagnation and toxicity. The discoloration will fade over a few days. As treatments cummulate and the release of stagnation and buildup has been thixolated, dispursed and drained – (usually by the 3rd or 4th treatment) no discoloration is likely to occur at all. Even though each time the cupping may have been focused on the same area for the same duration and with the same amount of negative pressure. This is clearly the result of having internal unwanted toxins systematically purged.

But, regardless of the therapeutic value in drawing these agents out of the body, it is vitally important to educate your clients to the nature of the discoloration and self care. Provide them the understanding of the marks to assist them in relaying accurate information to others who might see it. If there is concern about leaving discolorations on clients, and/or the process of educating these clients is unwanted (including a release form) – then suction cup therapy is not for you.

There are simply people who will not want such marks - no matter how potent the health benefits. And, being uneducated about the marks (like the "significant other" upon seeing it on their back) will perceive this as bruising and can become very concerned. It is the responsibility of the Practitioner to carefully screen, educate and support their clients in this matter.

(Please click on this link for more info)


Since the techniques use negative pressure, rather than tissue compression, superior bodywork ranging from MFR and deep tissue work to MLD is easily accomplished. The suction of the cups rapidly facilitates rigid soft tissue release by stretching it up from underlying structures, thus loosening areas of adhesion or restriction, activating muscle spindle reflexes that relax contractile tissue and retraining the myofacial structures. Further, it stimulates the nervous system reflex to the cerebral cortex, contributing to an increased rate of recovery from pain and disease.

The effects are remarkable on hypertonicity and aching muscles and activate the secretion of synovial fluids, which release joint stiffness in ways not possible using the pressure of traditional massage. It concurrently creates localized expansion of tissue, producing a profound vasodilatation reaction - drawing blood flow to areas of ischemic pain, raising skin temperature, promoting metabolism within the skin tissue for better functioning of sweat and sebaceous glands, flushing capillary beds, draining stagnant blood, toxins and lymph, and re-supplying vital nutrients.

Its use in beauty therapy is based around promoting hormone production, encouraging blood and the secretion of digestive fluids and increased peristaltic movements in the bowels and internal organs, thus removing harmful toxins that speed up the ageing process and other degenerative conditions. Another effective application of the cupping technique is in the treatment of cellulite. A very light suction provides drainage, while heavier application can be used to stimulate circulation and loosen adhesions or “dimpling.” The thighs and hip region should be cupped prior to a wrapping procedure to enhance the absorption of topical products. Another application of Negative Pressure Massage include an extraordinary face lift and drainage treatment and the addition of new equipment that include negative and positive polarity magnet make Biomagnetic Therapy potentials tremendous.


Benefits to the Recipient

- Deep tissue work and release without discomfort

- Moves stagnation and drains fluids

- Relieves Inflammation

- Nervous System Sedation

- Breaks Up and Expels Congestion

- Stretches Muscle and Connective Tissues

- Loosens Adhesions

- Pulls blood supply to the Skin

- Facilitates the movement of Qi and Blood systemically and locally

- Dispels wind, damp and cold to treat muscle and joint pain, stiffness, and arthritis

- Strengthens the immune system by promoting the flow of lymphatic fluid

- Treats excess heat conditions, fever, stress, depression and anxiety

- Cleans the blood and lymph and helps to balance PH levels

The suction created by cupping pulls stagnant fluids to the surface, removes toxic pathogens and promotes fresh oxygenated, nutrient rich blood & lymph

Conditions Responding to Cupping Therapy

As these treatments gain wider audience and applications are addressed, new and sometimes surprising results occur.

This list is a partial, but steadily growing one that we will keep updated.

PLEASE - Anyone having experiences or protocol they would like to share - please do not hesitate to do so here.

We will post any reports or feedback on the Testimonials page.

  • Colds & Influenza
  • Headaches
  • Abscesses
  • Arthritis
  • Intercostal Neuralgia
  • Intestinal disorders
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Sciatica
  • Rheumatism
  • High blood pressure, stroke and arteriosclerosis
  • Bronchial asthma & congestion
  • Gynecological disorders
  • Kidney disorders (including frequent/urgent urination)
  • Dispels colds and respiratory infections
  • Relieves gastrointestinal symptoms such as stomachache, vomiting and diarrhea
  • Liver disorders
  • Gallbladder disorders
  • Dermatological disorders
  • Depression
  • Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Anxiety & insomnia
  • Post-injury trauma
  • Post-surgery adhesions
  • Cellulite
  • Musculo-skeletal problems: pain, spasms, cramps, tightness, numbness, stiffness of the back and neck
  • Chronic gastric pain
  • Vertigo
  • Menopausal discomforts
  • Activates the skin, clears stretch marks and wrinkles and improves varicose veins
  • Scars can be effected to a surprisingly great degree.


  • Cupping is contraindicated in cases of severe diseases, i.e. cardiac failure, renal failure, ascites due to hepato-cirrhosis and severe edema, as well as hemorrhagic diseases such as allergic purpura, hemophilia and leukemia, and clients with dermatosis, destruction of skin, or allergic dermatitis.

  • Cupping should not be applied on the portion where hernia exists or has occurred in the past.

  • Broken bones, dislocations, hernias, slipped discs, organ failure, and those undergoing cancer therapy are contraindicated for Cupping.

  • Cupping should not be performed on affected areas during the acute stages of Psoriasis, Eczema or Rosacea.

  • Cupping should not be applied on effected areas during outbreaks of Urticaria (Hives),  Herpes or Shingles.

  • Cupping is contraindicated for those with liver or kidney functional illness, Cardiopathy, 3D Varicosities or over recent surgical incisions.

During pregnancy:

  • Unless the mother has been receiving ongoing Cupping prior to their pregnancy – wait until the 2nd trimester.

  • Women who have not received Cupping and begin during breast feeding should express several days before the treatment and should wait a few days post treatment to return to breast feeding.

Information on this site is provided for informational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication. As a non-medical practitioner, if you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider. Information and statements regarding Baguanfa have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


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