What to Expect After Cupping

Cupping is a centuries-old tradition that has been used to treat a variety of conditions. Today, studies in mainstream medicine have provided evidence that cupping (also known as ozone therapy) can be effective against headaches, digestive issues, musculoskeletal pain and more! Indeed, research indicates that cupping not only helps to improve circulation, it facilitates a immunoregulatory response that works to control inflammation and hasten cellular division and growth. Here’s what you need to know about cupping and what you can expect after a cupping procedure:

The Cupping Procedure

Before we get into what to expect after cupping, you need to understand the actual procedure. Cupping works by creating suction (negative pressure) against the skin. A cupping session typically lasts 30 minutes and entails a clinician placing small cups on the client’s body (at the point of pain or concern). A special type of oxygen called ozone is then pumped out of the cups, creating negative pressure against the skin that draws toxins and excess fluids from underlying tissue and increases blood flow by dilating surrounding capillaries. In short, cupping initiates a natural healing process that relieves lymphatic stagnation and promotes improved vascular circulation.

What You Can Expect After a Cupping Procedure

No two people will experience exactly the same reaction from a cupping procedure. There are, however, a few common effects that many clients notice:

  • Reddish or Purplish Marks

Cupping creates a vacuum that loosens stiff connective tissue, pulls in blood and “sucks” toxins out of stagnant skin and muscles. In many instances, a reddish mark that looks like a bruise appears as the cups deliver this negative pressure. This indicates that the body has initiated an immune response and is working to heal itself from within. Don’t worry, though, these marks typically fade within a few hours or over just a few days.

  • Improved Sense of Relaxation 

Many people indicate that they become very relaxed during and immediately following a cupping session. Like a deep tissue massage, cupping acts to relieve tight and sore muscles by loosening adhesions in the fascia and breaking up scar tissue so that normal circulation resumes, adequate nutrients and chemicals — such as mood-enhancing hormones, serotonin and dopamine — return to the area and the body enters a parasympathetic state. The result: relaxation!

  • Sensitive Skin

Some people can expect to have sensitive skin after cupping. The pressure created by the cups opens the skin’s pores (in order to drain excess toxins), making them vulnerable to infection and often sensitive to changes in temperature and certain cloth textures. You might wish to avoid hot showers for at least three hours; wear loose, cotton clothing; and drink lots of water so that your body is able to continue removing harmful stagnations and other cellular waste products following a cupping session.

  • Reduced Pain

Finally, you might experience a reduction in bodily pain after cupping. As a catalyst of the body’s natural immune process, cupping works to promote cellular repair, decreasing inflammation and triggering new cell growth, which therefore, often eliminates pain!

Want to Learn More?

Our clinicians at The Institute of Natural Health understand the health benefits of cupping and use it to treat a variety of conditions for our clients and patients. To learn more about this centuries-old tradition and its place in modern medicine, please contact us today.


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