Cupping Therapy

Cupping is part of the Traditional Chinese Medicine used to treat a variety of conditions. Although it's not a traditional deep tissue massage, it achieves similar results through a negative pressure using glass cups and a flame to create suction. Cupping helps to move stagnant blood and lymph and get it back into the circulatory system so that your body may naturally flush it out.  It also helps to release adhesions in the connective tissue, loosen scar tissue, reduce inflammation and allows for better blood flow.

I offer customized fire cupping during massage therapy sessions in Portland, Oregon as an add-on. During the treatment, I use Burt’s baby balm to aid in the movement of the cups after placement, and to also mat down any body hair that may be present. Whether or not the cups are placed or moved depends on the patient’s goals and areas of concern. Generally, I move the cups as both my patients and I feel that it allows for greater fascial and muscle tissue release along a larger surface and may help to release areas that were not originally thought to be contributing to the main problem areas.


Common places to receive cupping are the back, pectoral, and thigh area. So long as there is a large enough surface, cups should be able to be placed with ease. Smaller areas such as the forearms, fronts of the lower legs, or neck are more challenging to cup and may not be able to be cupped depending on the size of the patient. This is not a suitable add-on for anyone who fears fire. Those with large amounts of body hair may also want to consider alternative treatment options, as the hair may be difficult to mat down and may burn slightly.


After the session, make sure to drink plenty of water and to keep the areas warm and dry for at least 24 hours, but preferably 36 hours. If you typically sleep with a fan on, make sure to wear a shirt. A warm shower or Epsom salt bath is okay to do, but make sure to towel off afterwards and cover all cupped areas, as these are portals to illness according to Traditional Chinese Medicine.


This treatment will also leave marks on the surface of the skin – this is due to stagnated blood flow. The marks are not bruises and will not respond to any alternative treatments for the appearance of bruises.   If you’re looking to receive deep fascial work or are looking for relief from chronic issues potentially caused from restricted facia, a motor vehicle accident, or chronically tense muscles, cupping may be the right choice for you. Call or email me today with questions, or book online today.