Cupping is one of the therapeutic techniques of traditional Chinese medicine.

The earliest recorded use of cupping dates to the fourth century when the noted herbalist "Ge Hong" wrote about it in his famous book, A Handbook of Prescriptions. At that time, practitioners used hollowed-out animal horns for cupping and place them over particular points or meridians. Today, acupuncturists use cups made of thick glass, plastic, bamboo, metal or clay. At 2bwell, glass cups are the preferred method of delivery because of hygiene, safety and accuracy.

In a typical cupping session glass cups are warmed using a cotton ball or other flammable substance soaked in alcohol. Burning a substance inside the cup removes the oxygen and creates a vacuum between the patient's body and the cup. Drawing up the skin opens its pores which help to stimulate the flow of blood, balances and realigns the flow of energy (Qi), and breaks up obstructions. Depending on the condition being treated the cups will be left in place from 5 to 15 minutes. Several cups may be placed on a patient's body at the same time. We might also apply small amounts of herbal oils or lotions to the skin just before the cupping procedure. This will let the cups move up and down particular meridians after they have been applied.

Cupping can be used to treat a variety of different conditions depending on the patient's need. It is used in cases of bronchitis, asthma, and any URI or congestions. We use cupping to treat pain and muscle tightness, arthritis, gastrointestinal disorders or even some liver issues.

Like any other medical procedure, cupping is considered a safe treatment method when done by a qualified medical practitioner. Cupping can cause some temporary bruising on the skin. As the skin under a cup is drawn up, the blood vessels at the surface of the skin expand. This may result in small, circular bruises the shape of the cup's opening on the areas where the cups were applied. These bruises are usually painless and disappear within a few days of treatment.

If you like to know more about cupping or any other Traditional Chinese Medical procedure which we use at 2bwell, please contact me directly via phone: 503-655-0044 or email:

Siamak F. Shirazi – Director and CEO
Licensed Acupuncturist
Doctor of Oriental Medicine (Canada)