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The Benefits of Chinese Fire Cupping

‘Acupuncture and cupping, more than half the ills cured’ ~ well-known anonymous Chinese saying.

I can’t rave about cupping enough! I would shout the benefits from the rooftops if I could. You see, cupping is a bit of a cheat therapy, and those weird little glass cups pack a powerful punch when it comes to relieving so many ailments.

The beauty of cupping is that it can provide fast results for some otherwise complex health issues. It’s quick and easy and the best part is, it leaves you feeling relaxed and floaty with an overwhelming sense of wellbeing. Everyone should know about cupping & everyone should add it to their treatment repertoire.

So, what is this cupping I speak of?

Cupping has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years and was even recorded in the Ebers Papyrus (1550 BC) which is one of the oldest medical documents that exists. It was originally used for tuberculosis in the belief that illnesses can be sucked from the body. There are many different versions of cupping that have been practiced over the ages in different parts of the world, but in the traditional Chinese medicine version, it is called Chinese Fire Cupping.

Fire cupping is performed by heating little glass cups (this removes the oxygen within the cup) then placing the cups on strategic parts of the body. As the cup cools, a vacuum effect gently draws the skin up and draws the capillaries to the skin’s surface. The pressure created improves circulation and clears stagnant toxins trapped within the body, helping to reduce pain and inflammation in areas where there is a blockage or stagnation of blood flow or life force/Qi.

Traditionally the cups are placed along the yang channels of the back such as the Intestine, Gall bladder and Urinary bladder channels as these areas are often tense and tend to hold a lot of stagnation, but they can be placed on other areas of the body to reduce stiffness and sore muscles also.

How does cupping help?

“Where there’s stagnation, there will be pain. Remove the stagnation, and you remove the pain.” ~ Chinese Medicine theory

Almost every pain and ailment in the body is caused by inflammation and stagnancy. Cupping draws the stagnant toxins to the surface of the skin where the immune system can more easily eliminate the toxins from the body. This is the reason we recommend drinking a heap of water after the treatment, as it helps to flush the toxins from our system.

What ailments can cupping treat?

Cupping is very effective in calming the nervous system and can help provide relief for stress and anxiety and the effects can be instant. It’s also a great choice for stressed out or anxious teens, as it doesn’t involve needles!

It also relieves pain by releasing tight or fatigued muscles. It’s perfect for post-workout treatment which is the reason you see so many athletes with the tell-tale marks on their backs, but it’s also perfect for stiff necks, backs or shoulders and especially good for people who sit at a computer every day.

It helps promote healing and supports the immune system.

A list of conditions Cupping can help:

Stress & Anxiety reduction

Immune system support

Stiff or sore muscles

Musculoskeletal pain

Hormone balance


Cold and Flu symptoms

Arthritis & rheumatoid arthritis

Breathing issues such as asthma

High blood pressure (hypertension)

Gastrointestinal disorders

Skin issues like asthma and eczema

Facial paralysis


What should I expect after cupping?

The vacuum force from the cups leaves round marks (like love bites) on the skin which can start to fade after a day or two, but they can also stick around for up to two weeks, this really depends on how much Sha (heat and toxicity) we need to clear. Patients often report experiencing an overwhelming sense of relief after a treatment and it can leave you feeling quite spacey and relaxed.

Hopefully this gives you some insight as to why I think this wonderful sacred tradition is so underrated and needs to be shouted about. Like Acupuncture, it certainly has stood the test of time. So, if you’re suffering from any of the annoying ailments listed above, you should definitely think about coming in for a treatment. We usually offer cupping as part of an individualised TCM treatment plan (with acupuncture included) to increase the overall effectiveness of the treatment and speed up the healing process, but we can also offer as a stand-alone treatment if preferred.

And the best part about cupping is that just like acupuncture, it helps the body find homeostasis and heal itself, just like it was meant to. How cool (hot) is that? 🔥

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