Let’s face it, lately (especially during the past Summer Olympics), we have been bombarded with images of people experiencing the benefits of Cupping!

I know I’ll get some heat for what I’m about to say, but Cupping is not a Chinese Medicine therapy! I can hear you thinking: Say WHAT? Are you crazyyyyyy?

Okay, just kidding! I meant to say: Cupping is not ONLY used in Chinese Medicine. Now we can all breathe easier 🙂

Cupping therapy is one of the oldest and most used globally natural medical treatment in history. Yes, it is used for thousand of years in China (where is it known as Ba Guan), but also in Egypt, ancient Greece, the middles east (where it’s practiced as wet cupping Hijama – Meaning suction in Arabic), and all over Europe.

I LOVE CUPPING!!! I love receiving it and giving it. Cupping Rocks!

Below, you’ll find all about the basics of Chinese Medicine Cupping Therapy. Enjoy, and keep rocking it using TCM!

TCM Geek

1- Cup Types

In ancient times, Bamboo and pottery (clay) cups were initially used. Nowadays, glass or plastic/silicone cups are the most common types used in clinical practice.


2- The Most Common Cupping Applications:

  • Fixed Cupping: a single or multiples cups are placed on a painful area or acupuncture points and are retained for 5 to 15 minutes. To expel pathogens (ie: 1 cup on Du 14). To help respiratory issues such as asthma and bronchitis (ie: many cups on upper Back-Shu points). To calm the mind for anxiety (ie: cup BL 15. To relieve menstrual pain (cup the lower abdominal region).

  • Quick Cupping: Placed on an acupuncture point and removed immediately, then repeating this process many times for 3 to 3 minutes. This is used for people who are deficient and weak.

  • Moving Cupping: Oiling a large area and moving the cup back and forth while the suction is in effect. Often used for fascia release and lymphatic draining. Or for muscular pain or to improve blood circulation.

  • Needle Cupping: Placing a cup over a needle which has been inserted on an acupuncture point. To enhance the action of a point. 

  • Wet Cupping (Blood letting cupping): placing the cup over an acupuncture point that has been pricked by a lancet needle prior to cupping it, and then drawing blood from the body with the cup. Used mostly to detoxify.

3- Cupping Functions

  • Moves Blood & Qi and breaks up obstructions

  • Detoxifies

  • Relieves Acute or Chronic Pain

  • Expels External Pathogens

  • Releases fascia, helps lymphatic drainage, and improves circulation.

4- Indications

Cupping therapy can help many conditions. Here are the most common ones:
Headaches, muscle tension and stiffness, arthritis, sports injuries, fibromyalgia, and dysmenorrhea. Common cold, asthma, bronchitis, and allergies. Insomnia, stress and long standing emotional trauma.

5- Precautions:

Cupping is NOT recommended on sensitive skin, ulcer or broken skin, on the lumbar and abdominal region of pregnant women, or on people with excess hair (especially moving cup or fire cup). Cupping therapy may result in bruises (which will generally dissipate within 3 to 10 days).


Liked this content? Sign up here for updates…It's FREE!