image by Katherine Hanlon via Unsplash

Appointments can be booked online. Cupping is available on:

  • Fridays 9:30 – 11:30 am
  • Sundays 9:30 – 11:30 am

What is Cupping?

Cupping is a healing modality used for thousands of years to promote circulation, ease pain, release muscle tension, clear heat and expel toxins.  Cupping pulls carbon dioxide and other cell waste from the deeper muscle layer to the surface of the skin, allowing the body to more easily flush out toxins and improve circulation in the local area.  Cupping is beneficial for back pain, shoulder tension, improving range of motion, respiratory condition (asthma/bronchitis/common cold), anxiety and stress release.

How does a cupping treatment feel?

Clean reusable plastic cups are placed on the back using a manual pump, which extracts the air out of the cups and creates suction.  The strength of the suction can be adjusted depending on your comfort level.  There is a pulling sensation when the cups a placed, which can also feel like a deep massage. Often, the cupping sensation feels relaxing within 1-2 minutes of cup placement, as muscles release tension. The practitioner may repeatedly remove and re-apply the cups in different areas. Occasionally, oil or lotion will be applied to the treatment area and the cups may be moved around while still applying the suction. The cups remain on your body for 5-10 minutes.

What are those marks?

It is common for cupping to cause red or purple skin discoloration.  (You may have seen athletes’ or celebrities’ photos in the media with round cupping marks.) These marks are a normal result of a cupping treatment, rarely cause discomfort, and will usually fade after a few days to a week.

Cupping is CONTRAINDICATED if you:

  • Are pregnant
  • Have a bleeding disorder or bruise easily (due to medication, etc)
  • Have skin rash or ulcers (non-intact skin) in cupping area
  • Receiving radiation or chemotherapy
  • Have had a whiplash injury less than 2 weeks ago

What is the fee for cupping?

Cupping is provided as a separate service and is offered on the same sliding scale as acupuncture ($30-50 per session). Acupuncturists are not able to add on cupping during acupuncture. The cupping session will take about 20 minutes.

How do I prepare for cupping?

  • Make sure you have eaten within 2 hours of your cupping and hydrate well.
  • Bring or wear a button-down shirt that can be worn with opening in the back, a stretchy tank top, a modest sports bra or another garment that would allow for modesty and back and neck access.
  • Bring a warm layer of clothing with you – it is important to keep the cupped area warm and protected after the treatment.

What aftercare should I do?

  • Take it easy the rest of the day after your session, or at the very least rest for a few hours.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to help flush out any toxins from your system, avoid alcohol and other intoxicants.
  • Avoid extremes of temperature and activity for at least 24 hours after your session.

How often should I get cupping?

Generally, it is best to wait for your cupping marks to clear up completely before you receive more cupping. Your practitioner can recommend a course of treatment based on your specific complaint.