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Relax & Rest

What is cupping therapy?

Cupping therapy is a form of Chinese medicine in which special cups are applied and sucked up on the skin along the meridians of the body. These special cups are made of glass, bamboo or silicone. It stimulates the Qi (energy flow) of local region to treat or prevent illnesses and health conditions, such as relieving pain or inflammation, promoting blood flow, relaxation and health care.

In our clinic, cupping is not usually done as a treatment by itself, but rather is combined with other therapy of Chinese medicine, like acupuncture or herbal medicine.

How is cupping therapy done?

Cupping therapy entails the following major procedures:

  • Before cupping, your skin is usually applied with some cream or herbal oil.

  • Practitioner will set an alcohol soaked cotton ball on fire, carefully put it inside the cup and immediately take out, at the same time set the cup upside down on your skin.

  • As the air inside the cup cools, it creates a vacuum. This causes your skin to rise and redden. The cup is generally left in place for up to 3 minutes.

  • Practitioner may use a rubber pump instead of fire to create the vacuum inside the cup. Sometimes we use glass or silicone cups, which can be moved from place to place on your skin for a massage-like effect.

  • You usually get 3-5 cups in your first session, or you may just try one to see how it goes.

  • Cupping frequently causes red marks on the skin which is due to bringing blood to the surface. These cupping marks/bruising may last for a few days up to two weeks.


What do you feel during your cupping therapy?

It feels intense pressure from the suction, like a prolonged hard pinch; also usually feels mild tingling sensation with mild warmth.

What health conditions can Cupping therapy help?

Cupping therapy can be used for many health conditions. In our clinic, we have commonly used cupping for helping management of some symptoms associated with the following conditions:

  • Cough, body weight control, indigestion, constipation, insomnia

  • Chronic neck pain, shoulder pain and Lower back pain;

  • Hay fever, psoriasis, chronic urticaria


What are the health risks that may be associated with cupping therapy?

Cupping usually leaves behind cupping marks/bruising on the skin. Mild cupping marks are expected after cupping therapy. Generally the marks may last for several days. However, the practitioner of the clinic will avoid severe bruising caused by closely monitoring of sucking intensity of the cups and the duration of cupping.

Cupping is fairly safe if you are undertaken by a qualified practitioner. It is important to note that the following situations are contraindicated with cupping therapy, and you must report to our practitioner clearly before cupping:

  • Medical emergencies and surgical conditions.

  • Pregnant women over the abdominal or sacral areas.

  • Infected or scarred area of the body.

  • Fluid retention (edema or ascites) of the body.

  • Bleeding disorder such as haemophilia or use of strong blood thinners.

  • A seizure disorder with frequent attacks.

  • Client who is famished or have overeaten.

  • Over fatigued, frail and weak

Note: This information is NOT intended to replace medical advice. Any questions regarding a medical diagnosis or treatment should be directed to a medical or health care practitioner. 

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