top of page

The Art and Science of Cupping in TCM

What is cupping and how can it benefit you? Let's find out together.

picture of doctor cupping a patient

You've probably seen pictures of doctors holding the flaming "torches" associated with cupping--but what really is it that they are doing? Cupping is a medicinal practice that has been around since the times of Ancient Egypt, and although there are some minor changes that have been made, i.e the incorporation of glass cups instead of animal horns, it is still a wildly effective and widespread treatment option.

Dr. Angie cupping patient on table

How Does it Work?

Cupping works by utilizing flame to create a vacuum seal to the skin. Although this may sound intimidating at first it is actually an incredibly effective way to stimulate blood circulation to muscles which can help to loosen the body. Cupping is understood in TCM to assist with qi and blood flow. It also opens the pores to draw out pathogenic factors such as wind, cold, damp and heat. Biomedical research has found that, cupping does, in fact, increase local blood flow through microcirculation and capillary cell repair

There are different types of cupping as well. The type most commonly used is stationary cupping where the cups are placed in one spot and left for about 8mins before they are removed and moved to another spot. Another form of cupping is sliding cupping where there is oil applied to the skin under the cups, and once the cups are suctioned on they are slid around--almost like a massage.

What Does it Treat?

One of the reasons it has stood the test of time is because it is safe and beneficial for so many conditions including:

Immune support

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Cholesterol management





Facial Paralysis




Most Importantly, How Does it Feel?

Like a massage! (especially the sliding cups) but instead of a push you feel a pull. Patients sometimes describe it as ‘a good hurt’, followed by a release of pressure. It is very common to be left with the infamous "cupping marks" after your appointment, but don't worry these marks rarely hurt and instead show that stagnation has been released.

Yours in Health & Wellness,

If you or someone you know is interested in learning more or experiencing cupping, book a Cupping Appointment or add cupping onto your regular acupuncture visit

27 views0 comments


bottom of page