Detail of a woman therapist hands giving cupping treatment on back.

The procedure for cupping begins by identifying the area to be cupped. Usually for pain relief, the cups are placed around the problematic area or the nearby acupoints. For curing of illnesses, cups could be put on the back as that’s where acupoints directly linked to body organs are located.

Chinese Medicine: Cupping

Next is the choosing of the cups. Glass cups are a favorite selection for their flexibility with all the heat from the fire having the ability to assist in treatment. Bamboo cups could be combined with a medicinal mix while plastic cups are used only once and thus the most hygienic.

Once the air in the bamboo or glass cup was removed, the cup needs to be put upon the body instantly (plastic cups are placed on the body until the air is drawn out). Cups can be put on just about any area of the body, provided that there is sufficient flesh in the region which may be squeezed into the cups.

Smallest cups are stored for the neck and face, while the largest cups are used for the posterior. Medium sized cups are used for the arms, legs and back. Cups can’t be placed on areas where there is not much flesh or regions with large scars.

On that a person in good health, cupping wouldn’t leave any marks when the cup was removed. However, in a individual with disorders, cupping would render purple circular marks on the body. These marks can be thought of as like bruises. The more serious the disease is, the darker a shade of purple will the mark be. This mark is painless, not permanent and will fade off slowly after a couple of days.

The Process Of Cupping

Cups are usually left on the body for a maximum period of twenty minutes. This is because prolonged period of cupping could lead to the formation of water blisters. However if the suction force from the cup is too good, these blisters may form earlier.

In case that this happens, don’t panic. If the blisters are small, then they can be left alone but make sure that no abrasion occurs. If the blisters tend to be larger, use a needle to prick it and release the fluid inside before applying lotions like aloe vera gel. Also do not be turned off by cupping should such an incident happen, as the ancient Chinese always linked the creation of those blisters into a faster healing procedure. In recent decades, the practice of producing blisters through cupping has just been removed because of cosmetic reasons.


Overall, cupping is a really comfortable and pain-free procedure that has garnered plenty of popularity. At the close of the session, patients feel happy with the treatment. Some people even claim that cupping is an addictive process that they must go for periodically. Therefore for those interested in trying out Chinese medication, this is certainly a recommended mode of therapy.