Cupping therapy dates back to ancient Egypt, Asia, and Middle East. It is a form of alternative medicine where glass, silicone or plastic cups are placed on skin to create vacuum suction in order to promote health and healing by loosening soft tissue and connective tissue, scarring and adhesions, moving stagnation and increasing lymphatic slow and circulation.

Cupping increases blood circulation to the area where the cups are placed. This may relieve muscle tension, which can improve overall blood flow and promote cell repair. It may also help form new connective tissues and create new blood vessels in the tissue. Cupping promotes Qi (pronounced CHI) life energy, improves immunity, increases circulation and delivers fresh oxygenated blood to help reduce inflammation and promote healing. Eastern medicine believes that pain and stress are caused by stagnation of blood and vital energy (that’s Qi).

Cupping massage is widely used for lymphatic drainage to help remove debris and accumulated toxins from the body. It is also commonly used to address sports injuries, muscle and joint pain, connective _issue (fascia), digestive problems, for respiratory issues such as cold and cough, headaches, tooth pain, for body sculpting, cellulite, as part of an anti-aging routine, and so much more. Modern cupping may be used on its own or can be combined with massage therapy, essential oils, acupuncture or with other “Western medicine” treatments. Most individuals find cupping massage very relaxing producing muscle tension and pain relief. Cupping is generally not painful, but depending on the individual’s sensitivity and the intensity of treatment, it can be very relaxing and sedating or you may experience a moderate discomfort. The movement of the cup mimics the rolling action of a deep tissue massage, only creating a reverse or “negative” pressure by pulling the skin upward into the
cup. Redness or feeling of warmth of cupped area is an indication of increased blood flow to that area.

Conditions cupping could be used for lack of mobility, circulation, tight muscles, paint and discomfort, edema, scars, restricted circulation, muscle and joint pain, myofascial release, trigger points, Fibromialgia, IBS, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, bursitis, tendonitis, stagnant lymph and edema, insomnia, anxiety, inflammation and congestion, cellulite, headaches and migraines, sinus, pneumonia, asthma, TMJ, injury treatment and prevention, post-op recovery.

After cupping you may experience: “A lot of people say it feels like a deep tissue massage with a feeling of release that lasts for weeks,” says Dan. And though, again, you’ll likely leave the office with hickey-like circles on your skin (thanks to the suction of blood to the skin’s surface), you can expect those to disappear within a few days.

Different colored cupping marks indicate: Red cupping mark signifies severe heat. Bluish purple cupping mark indicates severe cold dampness. Cupping mark with dark color means exuberance of the pathogenic qi, a life force. Cupping mark with light color implies mild pathogenic qi. No cupping mark means the absence of pathogenic qi.

The secret behind CUPPING is the “negative” or reverse massage action. Unlike acupressure or massage therapy which compresses the muscles and tissues. Cupping decompresses and gently suctions and lifts skin and the underlying tissue into the cup. Easter medicine believes that pain and stress are caused by stagnation of blood, fluids, toxins and vital energy-Qi (pronounced Chi). Cupping promotes Qi life energy, helps improve our immune system, increases circulation, helps drain fluids, draws stagnation, pathogenic factors and toxins out of the body and delivers fresh oxygenated blood to help reduce inflammation and expedite healing. Cupping is commonly used to address sports injuries, muscle and joint pain, connective tissue (fascia), digestive problems, for respiratory issues such as cold and cough, headaches, tooth pain, for body sculpting, cellulite, as part of an anti-aging routine, and so much more. Modern cupping may be used on its own or can be combined with massage therapy, essential oils, acupuncture or with other “Western medicine” treatments.

How does cupping Feel:

Most individuals find cupping massage very relaxing, delivering muscle tension and pain relief. Cupping is generally not painful, but depending on the individual’s sensitivity and the intensity of treatment, it can be very relaxing and sedating or one may experience a moderate discomfort.

Common conditions:
Lack of mobility, circulation, tight muscles, pain and discomfort, edema, scars, restricted circulation, muscle and joint pain, myofascial release, trigger points, Fibromyalgia, IBS, Sciatica, Plantar fasciitis, Bursitis, Tendonitis, stagnant lymph, insomnia, anxiety, inflammation, congestion, cellulite, headaches and migraines, sinus, pneumonia, asthma, TMJ, athletic stress, injury and prevention, post-op recovery.

How long before you can see or feel results:
In many cases, results can be seen or felt after only a few cupping sessions. Many times you will start feeling and looking better instantly! With regular use you will experience improved mobility, muscle tension relaxation, increased energy, a radiant looking skin, a healthier and more! Results are cumulative. To be effective use regularly until optimal results are reached. Follow a healthy diet, exercise and drink plenty of water!

Cupping Marks:
Cupping marks or cup kisses are not bruises. The discolorations produced after cupping can be a result of buildup of toxins brought to the surface, stagnation, previous injury or lactic acid produced by the muscles. If redness or itching occurs, it’s likely due to inflammation brought to the surface.

Cupping FAQs

Though cupping is considered a new form of therapy to many, it has been practiced for thousands of years. In the last several years, cupping has grown in popularity and is used to effectively treat a variety of issues. The following are some of the most common questions we receive regarding cupping theray

What is Cupping?
Cupping is a form of alternative medicine in which cups are applied to your skin using suction. The suction releases soft tissue and loosens connective tissue. The idea is to increase blood flow and lymph flow to your muscles and skin as well as draw toxins to the skin’s surface. It provides many of the same benefits of massage on a more intense level.

What Are the Benefits?
People experience several benefits from cupping. It can help relieve tension in your muscles, increase energy, relieve pain, and reduce inflammation. It is used for treating anxiety and depression, insomnia, arthritis, disc herniation, acne, and more. Cupping is also great at detoxifying the body and relieving musculoskeletal pain.

Is It Safe for Everyone?
Cupping is a safe procedure for most people, but it is not appropriate for everyone. Some should steer clear or limit treatment. These people include:

  • People with epilepsy
  • Those who have hemophilia or other bleeding disorders
  • People who have blood clotting issues
  • Those suffering from skin conditions, such as psoriasis or eczema
  • Children under four

Children over four and pregnant women should consult their medical provider before receiving cupping therapy, though it is safe when done properly.

Does Cupping Hurt?
Cupping is typically no more painful than a deep tissue massage. You may experience some soreness, especially during the first few sessions. It should feel similar to the after-effects of a good workout session.

How Long Do the Marks From Treatment Last?
After treatment, you will probably notice marks that resemble bruises where suction was applied. Discoloration typically fades in a few days. After several sessions, some patients no longer experience these marks.

Are There Any Side Effects?
There are generally little to no side effects, but some patients have reported feeling dizzy or lightheaded during or immediately following cupping therapy. You might also experience headaches, fatigue, muscle soreness, and nausea. Some patients report itching and scarring.

You might feel a bit like you have a mild flu the day after cupping therapy. This is because of toxins being released from your body. Take care of yourself by resting and staying hydrated so the remainder of toxins can be flushed.

Cupping in Nashville
At Bellevue Center for Wellness and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, we have years of experience providing cupping therapy to residents of Nashville and the surrounding areas. To learn more about the benefits of cupping therapy or to schedule an appointment, call us at (615) 662-0000.