What is cupping?

Cupping utilizes negative pressure, or suction, to loosen and lift tissues, move stagnant fluid, and improve range of motion. Cupping is one of the oldest and most globally practiced medical treatments in human history. Ancient healers used gourds and animal horns as tools; today we use cups made of plastic, glass, and silicone.

How does it work?

The cups create a suction on the surface of the skin which lifts and loosens the layers of tissue beneath, effectively releasing areas of adhesion and restriction. This lifting action also works to move fluid pooled under the skin.


The tissues of our bodies are connected, so tightness in one area can create dysfunction in another area. Imagine you are wearing a very tight shirt that has a large knot at the bottom corner near your hip. That knot will affect the way the shirt lays on your whole upper body. If the knot is tight enough you will feel your shirt pull all the way up to your shoulder. By releasing and loosening your fascial layer, cupping can have a positive impact on your range of motion. The effects will be felt beyond the immediate area the cups were used on.

This lifting action also works to help move stagnant, pooled fluid beneath the skin, helping the body flush it out through the lymphatic system.

When added to an ashi session, the combined push-pull action encourages tense, tight muscles and tissue to more fully loosen and relax and help flush excess  fluid from the body.

Facial cupping

Cupping can also be done on the face, using special cups designed for the delicate skin of this area. It effectively tightens and tones, while plumping up fine lines.