How is cupping performed?

There are different ways to perform cupping. The steps vary slightly depending on the chosen method. Your provider will leave the cups in place for several minutes. Some treatments involve briefly moving the cups to stretch and massage the area.

Depending on the treatment, your provider may place multiple cups on your skin. Cupping methods include:

  • Dry: Your provider heats the inside of each cup — typically with an alcohol-soaked cotton ball that is set aflame. The heat sends oxygen out of the cup, creating a vacuum. Some providers use a suction device to remove air from cups. Once placed on your skin, the vacuum force pulls skin up into the cup.
  • Wet: Your provider uses a needle to lightly puncture your skin before, and sometimes after, cupping. Toxins leave the body through the puncture wounds during the cupping procedure.

What should I expect after cupping?

The suction force from cupping breaks open tiny blood vessels under the skin. You will have round bruise-like marks that fade in a week or two.

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