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What Is Cupping Therapy (And Why Should I Try It)?

by | Jul 30, 2021 | Spa Treatments

Everyone’s doing it.

Gwyneth Paltrow does it. Jennifer Aniston does it. Justin Bieber does it. And many Olympians at the Tokyo Games right now are doing it.

What’s got all these celebrities and athletes buzzing? If you’ve seen strange purple marks on their backs, you already know the answer: cupping.

Is it just the latest health craze, or is there more to it than that? What is cupping therapy, exactly? And most importantly, what benefits could it hold for you personally?

We’ll dive into these questions and more, so keep reading to learn all about cupping therapy.

What Is Cupping Therapy?

Glance through any spa menu these days and you’re likely to see cupping as a treatment option. Although it might seem like a new modality, it’s actually one of the world’s oldest known healing practices.

Cupping has long been part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), but its origins go back even further. Historians have found cupping mentioned in ancient Egyptian and Middle Eastern textbooks dating back over 3,500 years ago. Originally developed to treat lung infections, cupping gradually evolved to treat a wide range of health problems.

So what happens during a cupping session? Your therapist will use small glass or plastic suction cups to apply steady pressure to your skin. This increases the flow of blood and lymph through the area, helping to remove built-up toxins.

In a way, it’s similar to the pressure exerted during a deep tissue massage. The goal is to keep your body’s qi (internal energy) flowing freely by removing stagnant areas where tension and toxins build up. In fact, those purplish marks on your skin after a cupping session is part of this natural detox process.

What Are the Benefits of Cupping?

So far, we’ve talked a lot about natural health theory. Is there any science to back up these claims about the benefits of cupping?


Studies show that cupping can effectively reduce pain and inflammation associated with headaches, muscular tension, arthritis, and soft tissue injuries. There’s also evidence to suggest it can help ease symptoms of repetitive strain injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

No one is sure exactly how or why cupping has these positive effects on the body. The best guess is that cupping helps to restore the body’s internal balance and reduce factors that cause disease. In turn, your immune system functions better and your overall health improves.

Where Can I Get Cupping in Vail, Colorado?

So then, what is cupping therapy? Far from a “New Age” phenomenon, cupping is an ancient healing technique that’s been used to help people for thousands of years.

At Apres Massage in West Vail, our skilled therapists can add cupping to your massage session. Or, if you prefer, they can focus solely on cupping during your treatment. And don’t worry — you’ll have the chance to discuss your health concerns and needs before your session begins.

Would you like to learn more about cupping, massage, or our other spa treatments? Give us a call at 970-445-2114 or use our online contact form to get in touch.