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Dry Cupping Therapy & Its Benefits

Unlike wet cupping therapy, dry cupping treatment does not involve any bloodletting.


In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), dry cupping therapy removes stagnation from the body and stimulates the flow to qi (vital energy). Qi is a natural flow of vital energy that circulates in the body through blood. If the natural flow of qi is disturbed, it concerns the body and imbalances the hormones.

What Is Dry Cupping Therapy

Dry cupping therapy is a form of alternative therapy popular among the Chinese, Middle East, and West. Dry cupping therapy is also known as fixed or static cupping therapy. Cups are placed on the skin through heat or suction to create a vacuum inside the cup. The vacuum creates negative pressure by lifting the upper layer of the skin, the dermis. The lifting separates the skin layer from the tissues. The gap between the skin and tissues allows blood to flow rapidly.

How Does Dry Cupping Work?

As the suction is applied to the cup, it creates negative pressure and lifts the skin; this application draws blood toward that area. As a result, the tissues and muscles receive fresh and oxygenated blood. The suction immediately increases blood circulation and loosens the connective tissues, which helps to stimulate natural healing. The vacuum motivates the body to respond to the treatment by generating a natural healing mechanism. As a result, the body starts producing red blood cells, platelets, fibers, and proteins.

How to Create a Suction For Dry Cupping?

There are two methods of creating suction for dry cupping therapy.

1- By applying heat

2- By suction gun

This form of dry cupping is called fire cupping therapy. Practitioners soak a cotton ball with alcohol, light the cotton ball, and heat the air inside the glass cup. The heat consumes all the oxygen inside the cup vacuum creates that applies negative pressure to the skin. The negative pressure drains all the toxins from the body and promotes blood circulation. The cups can be placed on one spot on the body or moved around the skin in a gliding motion.

Through Suction Gun

Dry cupping therapy can also be performed through a suction gun. When a cup is placed on the skin, the suction gun helps to suck the air out of the cup, which creates a vacuum. The vacuum eliminates toxins and the body’s waste. It also increases the lymph flow and prevents fluid build-up.

Types Of Dry Cupping Therapy

There are different kinds of dry cupping therapies. Let’s explore them one by one.

1- Fixed Cupping Therapy: In this form of dry cupping therapy, cups are placed on specific pressure points and meridians on the body. As the vacuum is created through a suction gun, it leaves circular marks to promote blood circulation. The fixed cupping leaves localized skin discoloration called ecchymosis. The suction extravagates the blood and causes discoloration. It looks painful, but it is not painful at all. The cup shouldn’t be placed for more than 10 minutes in one place. The ecchymosis disappears within 3- 10 days, depending upon an individual’s body type.

2- Moving Cupping Therapy: This type of dry cupping therapy involves repeated movements of cups on the skin with the help of oil. Moving cupping therapy is like a massage that helps to relax deep tissues. As the cup moves, suction gets low, so it should be reapplied now and then. It aids in relaxing the body, reduces stiffness and muscular tension, and improves muscular extensibility to move better. The skin should be smooth and unbroken to perform moving cupping therapy. It is not safe to perform moving cupping therapy on a wounded area. Ecchymosis does not usually occur during moving cups, as the cup is moving and not stationary long enough to create skin coloration.

3- Fire Cupping Therapy: Fire cupping therapy is applied for dry and wet cupping both by using suction through a glass jar, in which a vacuum has been created by placing a flame inside the cup. When the flame inside the cup burns out all the oxygen, the Practitioner quickly applies the deoxygenated cup onto the skin, creating a natural vacuum and promoting blood circulation.

4- Flash Cupping Therapy: Flash cupping is also known as fast cupping therapy. Flash cupping involves repeated placement and release of cups on the skin. Flash cupping is performed several times in quick succession on the same spot. A few practitioners use flames and glass cups to perform flash cupping. Silicon cups can also be used for that matter. Squeeze the cups with both of your thumbs to create a vacuum, place the cups on the targetted are then release within a second. Repeat this method several times for up to 10 to 15 minutes. Flash cupping relieves congestion and sinus pressure.

5- Bio-magnetic Cupping Therapy: This therapy is similar to fixed cupping. The only difference is that magnets are used inside the cups. Magnetic cups are applied to the meridian lines to balance the vital energy force and lose the tight muscles. Magnetic cupping can not be used with moving cupping or wet cupping therapy. Magnetic cupping therapy raises energy levels and helps with depression, insomnia, inflammation, backaches, and foot aches. People are experiencing magnetic therapy in clothes, bracelets, shoe inserts, and blankets and getting benefits from them.

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Benefits Of Dry Cupping Therapy

Several kinds of research have proven that dry cupping therapy heals different ailments. Dry cupping therapy has gained rapid popularity in the East and West. It has been recognized as an alternative treatment for chronic health conditions, including muscular pain, digestive issues, skin problems, and arthritis.

Let’s discuss some of the benefits of dry cupping therapy.

  • Reduces muscular tension and pain.

  • Increases blood circulation.

  • Promotes cell repair through improved blood flow.

  • Improved blood flow also decreases depression and anxiety.

  • Helpful for chronic back and neck pains.

  • Works as a natural pain reliever.

  • Energizes the body.

  • Improves oxygenation in the blood.

  • Stretches myofascial tissues.

  • Boost the immune system to fight against viruses and infections.

  • An active immune system prevents diseases and ailments.

  • Increases range of motion.

  • Removal of toxins from the blood clears the skin.

  • Dry cupping is very effective for digestive issues.

  • It also helps to prevent postoperative nausea and vomiting.

  • Dry cupping reduces migraines.

  • Reduces the number of cellulitis in the body.

  • Release muscular tension and help the body to relax.

  • Dry cupping treats pain naturally.

  • Restores order in the body by unblocking the disturbance in the blood.

  • Clears the pathways for the vital energy to flow.

  • Help to reduce the symptoms of arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and plantar fasciitis.

  • Reduces inflammatory cytokines that promote healing.

  • Promotes general well-being.

Dry cupping therapy has been used for thousands of years as an alternate therapy that involves placing cups on the skin to create suction. Dry cupping therapy does not involve incisions to drag the toxic blood out of the body. Dry cupping therapy improves the flow of vital energy (Qi) in the body and facilitates healing.

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