Cupping has been used for thousands of years, throughout the Middle East, Asia, Northern & Eastern Europe. It is traditionally used to relieve pain, improve blood flow and encourage relaxation


Cupping is a Traditional Chinese practice as old as acupuncture that places cups on the skin by suction. A flame is used to create a vacuum inside the cup before being placed on the skin (the flame does not come in contact with the skin).

It is used traditionally to help with inflammation, pain, stiffness, blood flow, improving digestion, for toning fat and cellulite or for relaxation and well-being. Converts to cupping believe it feels better and has longer lasting impact than a deep tissue massage.

The cups are placed on trigger points (knots of muscle) or acupuncture points and can be either left in place to release tension/ blockage from a particular area or run along meridians or areas of stiffness to release blockages and pain (called running cups). 

Cupping is popular with celebrities, olympic swimmers and growing in popularity in the West. Several clinical reviews have concluded cupping is likely beneficial for back and neck pain and fibromyalgia based on trial evidence. 

Why try cupping therapy?

Traditional Chinese medicine uses cupping to release toxins and blockages from the body by bringing them to the surface, they also believe it improves blood circulation and the flow of energy (Qi) which makes you healthier.

By placing cups on specific acupuncture points like the Chinese medicine points for kidney, liver or digestion they believe it can help function and we often put cups on points known to help stress and sleep to get added benefit. Studies show that cupping can improve pain and stiffness, help healing and create feelings of relaxation and produce long lasting benefits. By placing cups over knots of muscle (trigger points) it releases the knot and the tension and pain it is creating and brings circulation and nutrients.

Cupping can recommended anywhere from twice weekly up to monthly depending on what you need. We offer discount packages and you can discuss the best option with your cupping practitioner. 

Chinese cuppinge fits beautifully alongside Chinese Medicine acupuncture and the other natural therapies that our practice is trained in. Learn more about Our Approach.

Fire cupping
A flame is inserted into a glass cup to create a vacuum (for suction) before placing it on the skin (the flame does not come in contact with the skin)
Cupping marks
The marks left after cupping are not seen as bruises in Traditional Chinese Medicine but the darker they are the more 'stagnated' or blocked that area is. Cupping will improve this.
Static cups
Cups are placed on areas of tension (muscle knots) and left in place for 5-15 minutes before being removed. There is often a sensation of release afterwards.
Running cups
This feels like a wonderful deep tissue massage. Oil is placed on the skin and the cups provide suction on the skin and are moved over the body to release tension.

Zdenka is our highly qualified and extremely experienced cupping therapist who is also a qualified masseuse. Dr Jess will happily tell you that despite training with her, Zdenka has far surpassed her skill and ability and Dr Jess books in whenever she needs some relaxation and has been sitting at the computer too long!

As part of your acupuncture sessions with Nicola or Dr Jess you may also receive cupping as they are also both fully trained in Chinese cupping. 

We would ask that you please inform your therapist if you are pregnant, have any acute illnesses or infections or have any wounds or skin conditions 


In the UK we only use dry cupping and not the therapy of wet cupping which involves bleeding whilst applying cups. 

Cupping marks – the cupping ‘kiss’

These are the red, purple or brown, circular marks commonly left after cupping. They are not bruises and should not be painful. These marks are a a good sign in Traditional Chinese Medicine! They are considered to show the removal of blockage, heat or toxins. The marks should fade within 5-7 days. Many people enjoy showing their cupping marks, but if you are planning to wear low cut clothes where you don’t want marks then let your therapist know to avoid any areas on show. 

It is also important to be aware that rarely it is possible to have blistering after the application of cups (due to tension on the skin) and though it is extremely  rare there is a risk of a superficial burns (from singeing of the body hair). These usually heal easily and are very unusual but can be fully treated by our team.

To learn more about Chinese Medicine, a good book for beginners is the ‘Web That Has No Weaver’ by Ted Kaptchuk.

“Happiness is the art of relaxation”