What is Cupping and What are the Benefits?

Cupping, an ancient Chinese healing practice, has been making its way into the mainstream as more people discover its impressive list of benefits. But what is cupping exactly? And how can it benefit your health and well-being? Here’s everything you need to know about this interesting form of self-care.

What is cupping?

Pinching, scratching, or suctioning parts of your body may seem like a strange way to care for yourself, but it’s part of an ancient self-care routine called cupping. This process involves heating cups, or other methods of creating a suction, before placing them on your skin. The cups can help pull impurities from your body, which can cause those red dots on your skin. You can find cupping services in some LaVida Massage Centers as well as many holistic health providers.

There are many reasons why people try this method of self-care, athletes do it to relieve stress and pressure whereas others may use it to help reduce cellulite. Although there is limited research on this method, there are many people who have tried it and experienced improvements in a matter of weeks.

The different types of cupping

The practice of cupping has been used for thousands of years in ancient Chinese medicine. It’s essentially a self-care routine that you can incorporate into your everyday life or use when you have an injury or need to feel relaxed. There are three different methods, and here’s what you need to know:

Dry cupping is exactly what it sounds like—the practitioner will cup specific areas on your body and then remove them quickly. The suction draws blood to those areas. The dry method also stimulates muscles by bringing more blood flow to them.

Wet cupping, as its name suggests, involves removing skin with a small incision before placing cups over it; it’s thought to help draw out toxins from under the skin’s surface.

Mini-cupping involves using small cups instead of larger ones and applying suction just once instead of multiple times during a session.

As far as which type is best for you, if you’re going to try any kind of cupping, speak with a professional first. Wet or mini-cupping is less likely than dry cupping to cause scarring.

When to use cupping

While many consider it to be a viable complementary health practice, it is also used by athletes in recovery from injury or strenuous training. The beauty of using cupping as a self-care routine is that you have direct control over where you place them, unlike acupuncture. This means you can use them any time, whether before bed or even in the middle of your day! In addition to reducing muscle aches and pains due to tightness, they also help reduce stress levels by promoting relaxation within your nervous system.

Can you do cupping on your own at home?

You may be surprised to learn that you can practice cupping at home, for all of its benefits. You’ll need to get a set of silicone cups, which you can get from online stores.

Here’s how you can do it yourself:

  • Step 1: Apply some lotion or oil to the areas you want to treat
  • Step 2: Gently squeeze the cup to create a vacuum and place it on the skin
  • Step 3: Release the squeeze and slide the cup up and down the area
  • Step 4: After a couple of minutes, move the cup in circular motions
  • Step 5: Repeat two to three times a week for best results


Many people swear by cupping as a regular part of their self-care routine. This ancient healing method originated in China over 2,000 years ago. The premise behind cupping therapy involves creating negative pressure in cups to draw blood to an area of the body for therapeutic reasons. Ask our Sales Associates if you can enhance your massage with cupping today!