Check out this video to see fire cupping with Holly Leever, L.Ac.


How does it work?

During a cupping session, glass cups are suctioned on to the muscle layer. Oil is used to lubricate the area, which enables the cups to slide over the musculature in order to span a greater area. The suction draws the skin and superficial muscle layer in to the cup ,which allows for an increase in blood circulation, resulting in a reduction in tension and pain. The sessions feel similar to a deep massage, and are very relaxing for the nervous system. After the sliding portion of the session, the cups are then left in place for a period of 10-15 minutes.

How do you get the cups to suction on to the skin?

There are two different styles of cups used in this office. One style is just an empty glass cup. Through the use of a flame the oxygen is drawn out of the cup, and quickly placed the on the body creating a vacuum seal. This does not burn and most people don’t even feel the heat. The other style of cup has a device that pumps the cups up through a valve. If you’re not comfortable with fire, the pump style cups can be used on their own. Don’t hesitate to let us know!

What is it used for?

Cupping may be used in the treatment of back and neck pain or tension, migraines and fatigue. It can also clear congestion from the common cold and may help to control asthmatic symptoms. Cupping may also be used on the abdomen for menstrual and digestive issues.Cupping is most commonly used on the back and neck area, but can be used on any painful or tense region of the body.

Does cupping help with weight loss, cellulite or stretch marks?

We’re going to stick with no, for now. Cupping helps to promote blood circulation, but I think it’s a stretch to say it can help with weight loss, cellulite or stretch marks because of that. I think it’s mostly a marketing scheme, but if someone has some solid, non-photoshopped evidence, we’d love to change our opinion on that.

Does it hurt?

The short answer is, no! When people see the marks that cupping leaves, they are often alarmed and assume it must be very painful. On the contrary, I compare the sensation of a cupping session to that of a deep massage. The suction can also be adjusted to each person’s level of comfort.  Most find the session to be quite enjoyable.

What causes the marks?

Cupping will leave red or purple marks that will remain for about a 7-10 days following the treatment. These marks are referred to as ‘sha’ and are an indication that the stagnation of blood in the area has been released. The marks are not actually bruises, and are caused by drawing up old, stagnant blood from the deeper levels which cannot be accessed with more superficial treatments.

How long do the marks last?

The marks left by a cupping session will generally fade within 7-10 days. You will also notice that they will fade more quickly with regular sessions.

How long is the session?

Cupping sessions last 45-minutes-1-hour

What should I wear for the session?

Comfortable, loose fitting clothing is recommended. You will remove your shirt (and bra for women). You will not need to remove your pants, so sweat pants or loose shorts are recommended for optimal comfort.

How do I take care of myself after the session?

-Make sure to keep the marks covered (wearing a t-shirt or a scarf over them)
-Drink plenty of water to ensure all of the toxins that have been released in to the tissues are cleared
-Plan to have a restful day following the session (i.e. no intense workouts)
-Abstain from alcohol the day of the treatment

How often should I have cupping?

In general, I suggest that you wait for the marks to heal prior to scheduling another cupping session. The marks usually take about 7-10 days to heal, so having a cupping session weekly is a great place to start. Some find that they only need cupping every other week. Your body will also need less treatment over time as cupping treatments have a cumulative effect. You can also use cupping whenever you’re feeling tense, stressed or just feel like getting in some self-care.


*Please be sure to eat a light meal and be well-hydrated prior to your cupping session

Other questions? Contact us here.