Massage Cupping

massage cupping

Massage Cupping is a treatment that works well in combination with deep tissue massage to treat both chronic and acute issues. It differs from traditional acupuncture cupping in that plastic cups, not glass, are applied by the therapist to an area of tension or stagnation, and with the use of a small pump, a vacuum is formed between the cup and skin. These cups can be moved over the specific areas being treated, or left for a short time to promote increased blood flow and “lift” of the tissue. No heat or fire is used with Massage Cupping and generally less cups are used in a specific area.

By creating suction and negative pressure, massage cupping therapy is used to soften tight muscles and scar tissue, loosen adhesions and lift connective tissue, bring hydration and blood flow to body tissues, and drain excess fluids and toxins by opening lymphatic pathways. It can be both relaxing and stimulating depending on the issue being treated.  


How does massage cupping feel?

  • Deep warmth and a tingling sensation, lasting longer than treatment has ended
  • Sedates nervous system
  • New ease of movement

What are the benefits of massage cupping?

  • No irritation
  • Draws inflammation out, does not add to it
  • Skin turns red = circulation brought to surface
  • Increased blood supply to muscles and skin will bring nourishment and allow for toxins to be carried away through veins
  • Chronic and acute pain relief with minimal discomfort
  • Soften tense muscles

What is the discoloration that occurs post-treatment?

  • Indication of the release of stagnation (body fluids and toxins)
  • Not a bruise, will dissipate between a few hours to a few days
  • Unlikely to re-occur in same area

Applications of Cupping:

  • Move stagnation, relieve inflammation, drain/move fluids
  • Draw blood from arteries to capillaries, returns via veins to be cleansed or disposed
  • Lift and stretch soft tissue
  • Separate fused tissue layers (ITB/TFL)
  • Release and soften scar tissue
  • Lymph drainage
  • Relieve inflammation
  • Stimulate blood flow
  • Sedate nervous system

Client After-Care:

  • Drink plenty of the purest water you can find
  • Do not exercise until the next day
  • Avoid chills, drafts or excessive heat for 4-6 hrs.
  • Avoid hot showers, steam, sauna until next day (use warm water)
  • Do not receive other bodywork for 48 hours as this could overload your system or complicate the work that was done.
  • Skin discolorations reveal old blood trapped in the tissue and will dissipate between 1-4 days.
  • Call your therapist with any questions you might have.
  • Burning sensations can occur and have often indicated a renewed blood flow to the tissue or natural separation of old adhesions in the fascia.

Potential Reactions:

  • Cup kiss: discoloration due to toxins and old blood being brought to the surface.
  • Post tenderness: usually less than from deep tissue work.
  • Redness and itching: increased vasodilation and/or inflammation brought to the surface.
  • Decreased blood pressure: due to vasodilation and/or nervous system sedation.


Chad and Russell have extensively studied massage cupping and both certified as practitioners through ACE Massage Cupping. They are available for Massage Cupping appointments on our scheduler under “Cupping/Deep Tissue Massage” in the drop down menu.