Dry Cupping Therapy

Dry Cupping therapy is a traditional medical practice of China origin used in curing variety of ailments. It works by improving blood circulation to a portion of the body where the cups are placed, and this helps cell replacement. The general renewal of blood cells helps in the formation of connective tissue and blood cells. Its application cuts across treatments of various health conditions

Dry Cupping

How Dry cupping Works

Dry cupping procedure involves the suction of skin surface usually a particular portion of the skin. To be able to create suction, a special glass cup is heated, and the hot cup is placed on the particular point of the body. The heated cup creates a suction effect when the trapped air in the cup starts to cool down, thereby pulling the skin surface upward. Suction is also achieved by the use of a suction pump to suck the air out of the cup.

Effects of dry cupping on the Skin

The pull on the skin surface makes the skin turn red as a result of pressure on the skin surface. This is not painful but might be accompanied a pinching feeling which lasts a short while but rewarded by a soothing, relaxing feeling. The condition of the skin can be adequately monitored by the therapist through the transparent cup. Some blisters can be seen in some cases which could be a sign of an effective treatment and the blister naturally heals.

Dry Cupping Procedure

Depending on the procedure a therapist seems fit for a particular treatment, the procedure might defer for each treatment. Herbal oils are applied in some instance while special creams are used in some other cases. The treatment may be combined with gliding cupping which is a kind of massage therapy.

Dry cupping lasts between 15 to 25 minutes, after which the cups are removed, and skin is left to heal.

After dry cupping is performed, massage therapy can be applied to reduce swelling and redness on the swelling and redness of the skin surface. Hydration can also be carried out to get the same result.

After this step, the cupped areas are treated with ointment and bandaged to allow healing and protect the skin surface from infection. Marks and redness go away in the space of 10 days.

Treatment Combinations

Other therapies can be combined with dry cupping in the treatments of specific ailments, and the combination varies depending on the ailment, and these therapies include massage therapy, water cupping, magnetic cupping and gliding cupping as mentioned earlier. Acupuncture treatment can be a perfect combination for some cases.

It is advisable to eat preferably light food 2 to 3 hours before going for a cupping session. A fast is perfect.

What can dry cupping treat?

Cupping therapy is popular for treating muscle aches and pains but is application is not limited to these two conditions. Cups are placed on acupressure points, and this makes it effective in treating skin related ailments and digestive issues.

The use of cupping therapy may be useful, as reported in a study, in the treatments of other conditions such as acne, cough and dyspnoea, facial paralysis, herpes zoster, cervical spondylosis and lumbar disc herniation although this claim is still being verified to be true as it claims.

Side Effects of dry cupping

Cupping is not associated with any significant side effect long after treatment except for the those experienced during and shortly after treatment. The effects as mentioned earlier include pinching sensation and red coloration of the cupped surface.

Other feelings that might be experienced during treatment include feeling dizzy, nausea or sweating. Also, the cupped portion of the skin especially the traces of the cup may be bruised and feels irritated.


The major risk to this therapy is an infection, and it can be mitigated. The therapist plays a significant role in preventing this risk by following the standard procedure by proper disinfection of the tools used, keeping the environment clean and the protection of the skin away from infection. The patient also plays the preventive role of following the instruction of the practitioner after treatment.

Other risks include bruises (hematoma) and scarring of the skin.

The practitioner is expected to be well kitted when administering the therapy, keeping all equipment clean and be vaccinated against diseases such as hepatitis and HIV. Choose your therapist wisely.

If you are looking for dry cupping or wet cupping treatment call Philadelphia Acupuncture Clinic (267) 403-3085 or use our on-line scheduling system