What is Cupping?

Cupping Therapy

Cupping therapy is a type of complementary medicine rooted in classical Chinese medicine. It comprises the placement of cups on the skin to create suction, thereby increasing blood circulation to the area(s) of treatment. It is frequently used in the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions and for relieving muscle tension – notably lower back pain and neck pain. Within this context, cupping may also improve overall blood flow and circulation, and promote cell repair. It may also assist in the formation of new connective tissues and facilitate the creation of new blood vessels.

Modern cupping is often implemented using glass cups that are rounded like balls and open on one end.

Since the cups can be applied to acupuncture points, cupping therapy is frequently used in combination with acupuncture. Aside from treating musculoskeletal conditions, it is also considered useful in the treatment of digestive issues, skin complaints, and other conditions commonly treated with acupuncture.

At Acupuncture West London, we offer cupping therapy as part of any acupuncture treatment when it is appropriate to do so and at no extra cost. Alternatively, we also offer cupping therapy as a stand-alone therapy.

Lumbar PainMuscle Stiffness
Fire CuppingCupping Bruises

Cupping is traditionally used to treat lung disorders:

  • Coughing
  • Bronchial congestion
  • Asthma

Additionally, it is frequently used in the treatment of the following conditions:

  • Paralysis
  • Digestive complaints
  • Pain
  • Musculoskeletal conditions – including lower back and neck pain
Channel Theory
Glass Cupping Set

At Acupuncture West London, we offer two types of cupping therapy:

Fire Cupping

Fire cupping involves the application of glass cups to the surface of the skin. A flame is used to create a vacuum within the cup, thereby creating suction to the area of treatment. This method draws fluid and blood away from areas of inflammation to the skin’s surface. It is not recommended to perform cupping on areas of skin that have open wounds. Because cupping relieves stagnation and allows blood to flow more easily, practitioners often use it in the treatment of painful and inflammatory conditions.


Moving Cupping

Moving cupping is performed by applying oil to the area of treatment – usually the back. Cups are placed onto the surface of the skin using a light tension. They can then be moved over the skin with a sliding motion, in circular/long movements.