Chinese Cupping Therapy

What is it?

  • Application of plastic or glass “cups” to the surface of the skin
  • Suction applied to the cups create a vacuum which gently draws the skin, muscle, blood vessels and connective tissue up into the cup
  • Often used as “sliding cupping” technique with an oil applied to the skin to allow the cup to “glide” up and down the length of the affected muscle
  • Extremely useful for muscle tension and myofascial complaints

Western Physiology:

  • Increases blood flow to muscles
  • Activates lymphatic drainage of wastes from tissues
  • Stretches and releases tension in the muscles and fascial connective tissue


Traditional Chinese Medicine:

  • Liver is responsible for muscle function
  • Pain and localized symptoms are often seen as impaired ability of the liver to circulate qi and blood, also known as “stagnation”
  • Cupping relieves stagnation and allows for harmonious circulation of qi and blood


Many of our patients have been asking lately, what exactly is Cupping Therapy?  Cupping is a technique that involves the application of glass or plastic “cups” to the surface of the skin.  A gentle suction is applied to the cups to create a vacuum which draws the skin, small blood vessels, muscle and connective tissue into the cup.  At Back to Health Wellness, our Naturopathic Doctor uses it typically in a “sliding” technique with oil applied to the skin to allow the cup to “glide” up and down the length of a muscle.  This functions to relieve muscle tension by stretching and loosening the muscle and connective tissue, while increasing blood flow and draining the lymphatic vessels to bring nutrients and drain wastes from the area.  This technique has been found to be extremely useful in acute or chronic muscle tension, IT band syndrome, shin splints and Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and has been used most recently by our very own Dr. Rodwin with great success.

Derived from Chinese Medicine, Cupping Therapy is used to “relieve stagnation” and allow for “qi” and blood to flow freely throughout the body’s 12 meridians.

If you’d like to learn more or try a treatment, talk to our Naturopath or our Registered Massage Therapist for more information.

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