Who Is a Good Candidate for Cupping?


What is cupping?

Cupping is a type of traditional Chinese medicine that has been used for thousands of years. It involves a skilled practitioner placing special cups on the skin to create suction, which increases blood flow. The goal is to reduce inflammation and promote healing. It is also thought to promote the flow of Qi (life energy) in the body and balance positive and negative qualities known as yin and yang.

Who is a good candidate for cupping?

For individuals seeking an alternative treatment for muscle pain, digestive issues, skin conditions, or various other health conditions, cupping may be a viable option.

The following factors are good indicators that cupping may be a beneficial treatment option:

  • An existing health condition that may improve from cupping
    Individuals with pain, inflammation, asthma, eczema, acne, or various other health conditions may be good candidates for cupping. Cupping is also used to promote relaxation and general well-being.
  • Ability to sit or lie down in one position
    The cups are placed on the skin for five to 10 minutes before being removed. Good candidates for cupping are able to sit or lie still for this amount of time so that the cups can stay in place and the muscles can relax.
  • Acceptance of temporary skin discoloration
    Cupping often leaves behind circular discolorations that look similar to bruises. These marks can last for a week or two before completely fading.
  • Ability to pay out of pocket
    Most insurance companies do not cover cupping. Individuals should be prepared to pay out of pocket.

Who is not a good candidate for cupping

Some individuals are not good candidates for cupping. This includes individuals who

  • have hemophilia or other bleeding disorders.
  • take blood-thinning medications.
  • have a history of blood clotting issues, such as deep vein thrombosis or stroke.
  • have skin inflammation, open wounds, or burns.
  • have epilepsy.
  • are pregnant.

Cupping is also not recommended for the elderly or for children under the age of 4. Individuals who take medications or have health conditions should consult a medical professional before trying any new alternative treatment.