Fire Cupping Vs Vacuum Cupping

Fire or Vacuum Cupping?

Cupping therapy is currently all the rage amongst celebrities and athletes, but it is in fact centuries old.

Cupping is like a reverse massage – instead of pushing into the tissue, it pulls. Treatment involves placing cups onto the skin to create a vacuum which helps to increase blood and Qi flow, loosen fascia, stimulate healing and remove toxins.

Cups are usually placed on the back, neck and shoulders, or the source of pain. Cupping may cause temporary bruising and soreness, depending upon the degree of suction created by the vacuum and the level of stagnation. The cups are removed by lifting one edge, which allows air in and breaks the seal and vacuum.

Benefits of cupping

Cupping is one of the best deep-tissue therapies available. It is thought to affect tissues up to four inches deep from the external skin. Toxins can be released, blockages can be cleared, and veins and arteries can be refreshed. Even hands, wrists, legs, and ankles can be cupped, thus applying the healing to specific organs that correlate with these points.

This treatment is also valuable for the lungs and can clear congestion from a common cold or help to control a person’s asthma. In fact, respiratory conditions are one of the most common ailments that cupping is used to relieve.

The detoxifying effect on skin and circulatory system is also significant, with a visible improvement in skin colour. Cupping removes toxins and improves blood flow through the veins and arteries. Especially useful for athletes is cupping’s potential to relieve muscle spasms.

Cupping also affects the digestive system. A few benefits include improved metabolism, relief from constipation, a healthy appetite and stronger digestion.

Fire cupping or Vacuum cupping?

There are many types of cupping, but fire is the most traditional method. Practitioners use a lit cotton wool ball to heat the cups which create a strong vacuum on the skin. It uses glass cups and the fire is believed to create a better suction. Some practitioners prefer to use the elements in their practice, and heat can be nourishing for people who are drained and tired. Fire cupping may be able to remove the cold/damp in the body, which is considered ‘evil’ in TCM.

Alternatively, many practitioners use vacuum cupping, which most typically uses plastic cups. The cups are applied to the skin using suction handles, which allow the practitioner to control the level of suction used, which may benefit more sensitive patients. Compared to fire cupping, vacuum cupping is considered a safer method and some patients prefer dry cupping rather than using fire.

Regardless of which method you prefer, cupping therapy will help to benefit your patient by removing toxicity, improving blood flow or reducing pain! You can shop our glass cups and vacuum cupping sets here.

If you have any questions regarding which technique may be best for you, please contact us on

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