Suction That Doesn’t Suck: Cupping Therapy

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Cupping therapy is usually used as part of acupuncture or body work treatment. It’s been part of Chinese medicine for over 2,500 years. For me, it was a great way to deal with my miscarriage, battle symptoms of the every-day cold, and make my life better.

Some massage therapists are starting to offer it as well. In fact, this month I will officially start apprenticing with my Acupuncture doc so that I can incorporate cupping into my own private massage/healing practice.  I am such a fan of cupping that I am pretty stoked to be able to use it to help others just like it has helped me.

Cupping therapy is a treatment in which the practitioner creates suction in a cup applied to the body, drawing the skin up around the cup and under the cup.  Then your back looks like the above picture for a couple days, with little circle hickey marks. But there’s a little more science involved than just sticking your Dyson vacuum to your back and putting it on high.

I first heard about cupping when Gwyneth Paltrow showed up at an awards show with the tell-tale signs of a cupping treatment. About a year later, I got to experience it myself at an acupuncture appointment that I had scheduled for a sinus infection/cold I was fighting. After my cupping treatment I could breath again. It completely took away my congestion!

Cupping brings fresh blood to the area so it tends to improve circulation. It also helps open up the chest. It can be beneficial for the lungs and even menstrual problems and digestive problems, too.

I even used cupping when I was healing from a miscarriage. I needed to complete the miscarriage and make sure any tissue or placenta that was stuck inside released, so I could avoid a D&C. Similar to the way cupping helps relieve congestion, it also helps move and “unstick” stagnant energy in the body.

It is not painful, but it doesn’t necessarily feel good. There is an intense feeling of pressure that happens when the suction is formed with the skin and the cup. It fades very quickly,after the initial placement of the cups, and it is relaxing after that. The marks last on your body for about a week.

And yes, it’s totally safe for toddlers and kids to do a cupping treatment, too.  Here is Sweet P getting a cupping session last year when she was congested from a head cold.  For kids the suction is much, much less and doesn’t hurt at all.

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Have you ever tried Cupping Therapy?

About the Author

Hiya! I'm Stephanie. Mama and Baby Love is all about helping mothers on their own personal health and healing journey and enjoying life along the way. You can learn more about me and what I'm all about. Sign up for my newsletter for more tips, info and inspiration!


  1. I first experienced cupping while living in Taiwan. It was suggested that I see a Chinese Medicine Doctor to treat a migraine I was suffering from. Read the whole account here…

  2. Omg I can’t believe you tried this out because this is what we do in our country aside from the spoon scrape on back. I never really tell my non asian friends about this method cause I didn’t want them to think I am weird. haha. glad it helped you!

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