Sterilized glass cups are incorporated with the use of alcohol to set the cup on fire and create a vacuum. The cup is placed over specific body parts to treat muscular pain. The patient relaxes either in a recumbent position or a forward seated position. There is no pain when performed and the patient often feels significant pain relief following the procedure.


The benefits of cupping include increased blood flow, local pain relief and muscle relaxation. Following surgery, cupping can help reduce scar formation. Cupping has been practiced for thousands of years and is a technique used in traditional Chinese medicine. Jennifer Aniston, Michael Phelps, Gwyneth Paltrow and Keley Cuoco have all benefited from cupping.

Frequency of treatment

Cupping can typically be done as often as two times a week. If the cupping left severe red marks, most physicians will wait until the marks fade. Some patients come in for weekly cupping sessions to address stress and tension, while others come as needed for lung or skin issues.

Is cupping in acupuncture dangerous or painful?

Cupping may seem painful because of the dark marks the treatment leaves behind, but people who undergo this treatment report that the process is not painful at all. Most patients will experience a sucking sensation, but no pain is involved when the treatment is performed correctly.