New Treatment: Cupping



If you watch sport you have probably seen the marks on the athletes body from a cupping treatment.  Michael Phelps gets it, Andy Murray gets it, actresses Jennifer Anniston and Gwyneth Paltrow have been seen after a treatment with the circular marks on the body.  Lots of Athletes use this treatment, But what is it?



What is it?


Cupping is a 5000 year old chinese natural treatment method. Opposite to
massage, cupping sucks air from the cup creating a negative pressure and sucking on the skin and pulls the blood towards that area. The aim of this treatment is to prevent injury, improve performance and create a faster healing and recovery time for injuries already sustained.


Cupping pulls blood to a region to stimulate healing.  It is effective at stretching tight connective tissue and muscles, helps the tissue develop new blood flow and causes anti-inflammatory chemicals in the body.  


There are a few different kinds of cupping. We do dry cupping where the skin is sucked into a cup via a vacuum and is known as a non invasive treatment.


You may also have seen fire used to get rid of the air in the cup. I burn my fingers lighting the Palo Santo we use so there is no fire.


Wet cupping is when you are superficially cut and cupped on that area. There is blood and we do not or will not ever do this.


We use plastic cups to create a suction effect on the skin. Plastic cups use a pump gun tool to suck the air out of the cup while it is in contact with the patient’s skin and can be placed on most areas of the body I think plastic cups are a great option as they can be placed even around areas that can be difficult to work on like around joints and places with hair.


We can also perform a cupping massage treatment, Once applied to the skin, cups are moved over the surface of the skin using oil or lotion as a lubricant, this can be a nice relaxing method of working the muscles and connective tissue.  This is my favourite bit, it feels awesome.




How often should you get cupping?

This completely depends on your situation.  We Believe that a KCR appointment is beneficial first to bring the body back into balance with cupping after.  Short term issues can be alleviated quicker than a long term injury or problems. Like KCR we advise clients with issues to get a couple of appointments quite quickly and then we can reassess.  We cannot cup an area that still has the marks from previous cupping so we are required to wait until these go away.


The color and pattern of the marks depend on the level of stagnation in the area, they range from barely a mark to a deep purple, usually go away after 3 to 5 days and should not be sore (honest).  They can last longer depending on the issues, sometimes as long as 3 weeks. These marks are part of the process, and does not mean that cupping has caused any damage. it shows that blood flow was increased to the area. It is what is known as a histamine response and is not a bruise, a bruise is caused by cellular damage due to impact.


Cells of the body use oxygen and give off carbon dioxide; when the energy is blocked, carbon dioxide gets blocked. This is called toxin build up.  Pain implies a blockage in the flow of energy in an area of the body. It is said the suction and negative pressure created through cupping pulls the blockage out of the deeper tissue and move it to the skins surface which allows your body to release it easier and improves blood circulation in that area.



Cupping can improve blood flow to the skin muscles and joints, improves the lymphatic system, improves removal of waste and toxins.  It Can be used to improve repetitive strains, inflammation, toxicity, chronic fatigue, digestive problems and more. Cupping can rapidly facilitate rigid soft tissue release, loosens and lifts connective tissue, breaks up and drains stagnation while increasing blood and lymph flow to skin and muscles.

What can cupping treat?

Cupping can be used to treat a wide variety of health conditions and injuries but don’t end at this list.  Cupping is a deep-tissue therapy, great for muscle tension and pain anywhere in the body





Back pain

Hip pain


Various joint problems

Tight IT bands (athletes often get told they have tight IT bands)

Plantar fasciitis

Achilles pain.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Asthma and other lung conditions.

Menstrual cramping.

Headaches of various types can be alleviated through cupping.

Digestive pain and bloating

Reduce stress and anxiety

Lower blood pressure






Is there any reason we Can’t Cup?

- Hernias. We cannot cup over the site of a hernia but you can still be cupped.
- Pregnancy – must avoid working on lower abdomen, inner leg and sacral area.
Wait until 2nd trimester to have first treatment if you have not had cupping
before in previous pregnancy. Also if you are breastfeeding, express several days
before treatment and wait a few days post treatment before returning to breast
- Severe slipped disc- on or near the disk
- Cancer (minimum remission of 5 years)
- Blood disorders
- Burns and broken skin
- Severe varicose veins
- Cardiac and Renal failure or cirrhosis of the liver and history there of.
- Heart disease or multiple vessels blocked
- Diabetes  
- Patients on blood thinning medication (anti-coagulants)
- Internal bleeding or haemorrhage