Cupping techniques include longitudinal, cross fiber and circular. The longitudinal technique is the most common, and the cup is glided longitudinally across the muscle fibers. The cross fiber technique is used when it is believed that the tissue is scarred. The circular technique is used at the end of the session to ensure that all areas were covered.

This therapy is popular among athletes. Numerous athletes from the Olympics in Rio 2016 used cupping increasing it’s visability.

Is Cupping Effective?

There is real science behind this therapy. By creating suction with negative pressure, it can increase hydration and blood to body tissues, ease up adhesions, rid excess fluids and eliminate connective tissues. Cupping is a versatile treatment and can be modified from deep tissue release to lymphatic drainage.  


It should not be performed on skin sites with wounds, infection, burns or active inflammation. Sometimes, it can create bruises on the skin that can last up to two weeks. Bruises typically resolve themselves with time. Incidentally, bruising is also one of the reasons cupping became so visible at the Olympics. Michael Phelps, the most successful swimmer of all time, was a big fan of cupping when he competed in the 2016 Olympics. Swimmers are known to have sore shoulders and cupping can stimulate the muscles and blood flow to the affected body parts while relieving the soreness.