Cup Therapy

What Is Cup Therapy?

Cup Therapy is also known as myofascial decompression.  A therapist puts special cups on your skin, then creates suction using a rubber pump. This creates a vacuum that draws the skin and muscle upward into the cup. Your skin may turn red as the blood vessels expand in response to the change in pressure. Some practitioners apply massage cream and then attach the cups, sliding them around rhythmically for a massage-like effect.

How Does It Work?

The suction created by the cups enhances blood and lymphatic flow.  This increased circulation will promote healing and reduce pain. Enhanced blood flow under the cups draws impurities and toxins away from the nearby tissues and organs and towards the surface for elimination. The suction created by the cups also decompresses the tissues immediately below the skin.   This has two main effects:

  1. It improves the slide and glide between tissue layers by breaking adhesions.
  2. It decreases pain and improves body awareness.


  • Helps with pain and inflammation
  • Increases relaxation and well-being
  • Reduces muscular restrictions
  • Relieves muscle tension – acts as a type of deep-tissue massage
  • Promotes cell repair and tissue healing
  • Helps form new connective tissues and create new blood vessels in the tissue
  • Increases lubrication of joints
  • Reduces scars and adhesions
  • Increase range of motion

What Conditions Can Cup Therapy Treat?

  • Sprains and strains
  • Muscle pain and soreness
  • Back pain
  • Knee pain
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Sports injuries and performance

Does It Work?

Research shows that cup therapy decreases pain and improves range of motion and function.

Is It Safe?

For most patients, cupping is safe to try, and could complement an existing treatment plan. Like all therapies, it’s important to see a professional who has been trained and licensed appropriately.

Are There Side Effects?

The primary side effects are bruising and skin irritation.  Both should heal on their own in 7-10 days.

Cup therapy, back