Cupping Therapy

What is cupping therapy?

Cupping therapy, also referred to as Pneumatic Therapy, employs negative pressure rather than tissue compression. Suction cup therapy is a traditional time-honored treatment that is safe, comfortable, and effective for many health disorders.

There are many methods to cupping: Stationary Cupping, Massage Cupping, Chinese Cupping, Flash Cupping, Bio-magnetic Cupping (aka needle-less acupuncture), and Dynamic Cupping.

By creating suction and negative pressure, cupping therapy helps to release rigid soft tissue, loosens adhesions, lifts connective tissue, and brings blood flow to skin and muscles. 

Cups are positioned over the treatment area where a vacuum is created by reducing the pressure inside the cup, therefore stretching the underlying tissues into the cup.


At Chicago Spine and Sports our Cupping expert Lauren Goode, CCT, LMT, NCTMB uses a unique style that blends cupping therapies with hands on massage techniques.  


Athletes have found cupping to be beneficial for tightness in muscles and aids in recovery.



Silicon “Baguanfa” Cup Set   

Age-Resistant Plastic “Kangzhu” Bio-magnetic Cupping Set

Glass “Belletaze” Facial Cups

Glass “Earth Spa” Bell Cups

Cupping is one of the oldest and most globally practiced medical treatments in human history. Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Chinese, Nordics, Celts, Ottoman Turks, Persians, Polish, Brazilians, Mayans, Aztecs, Russians, Slavs, Italians, Islamic Nations, and indigenous tribes in Africa all used multiple methods of cupping.

What happens during Cupping Therapy?

Cupping lifts tissue upward away from underlying structures, creating more space, expanding pores, loosening areas of restriction, activating muscle spindles and relaxes contractile tissues, while re-training myofascial structures.

What ailments can be treated with Cupping Therapy?

Cupping can be beneficial for a number of conditions including:

  • Sciatica
  • Poor circulation
  • Edema
  • Sports Injuries
  • Cellulite / stretch marks / surgical scars
  • Anxiety /insomnia
  • Neural tension
  • Headaches
  • Trigger points/myofascial adhesions

What are those round marks I see on people getting cupping?

This year at the Rio Olympics we have seen many of the athletes with telltale signs of cupping therapy -- the purple circles.

Although not every treatment creates discolorations (“Sha marks”) on the skin (usually colored from a light pink to a deep purple) they will sometimes appear.  These discolorations are not bruises, and will fade from a few hours up to 2 weeks from the treatment.  As treatments accumulate, marks will occur less and less. 

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