What is Cupping and Why You Should Try It.

By Bernadette Noonan.

You’ve probably seen the photos in the magazines. You know, the ones where the celeb’ looks like they’ve been in a tussle with a large octopus!

The culprit is not an octopus, or a vacuum cleaner and the marks definitely are not a new form of alien crop circle artwork. The lovely red and purple marks are the trademark of cupping in all of its glory! Celebrity Cupping

Cupping was developed as part of Traditional Chinese Medicine thousands of years ago. The first recorded evidence was in a text called A Handbook of Prescriptions for Emergencies written by Ge Hong in 300AD.

Cupping involves the use of – you guessed it – a cup generally made of glass (traditional dry cupping) or plastic (air cupping using a hand pump). The cup forms suction over the skin and the skin and superficial muscle layer is drawn upwards into the cup. The cups are applied to the meridians (energy pathways) and either left in place or moved along the skin with the help of oil (gliding cupping). Sometimes a combination of both methods is used. Cupping is often used in conjunction with acupuncture.

What is the aim of a cupping session?

The main aim of a treatment is to remove any blockages and help to balance the energy (qi) and help it to flow smoothly. As cupping can reach muscles up to 4 inches below the surface of the skin, it can also help to remove toxins, assist with blood flow, loosen muscles and calm the nervous system.

What specific conditions can be treated with cupping?

  • Coughs and colds- helps to relieve lung congestion
  • Pain (almost any pain but especially neck, back and shoulder. Also helps with arthritic pain)- helps to remove pain caused by stagnation of energy (qi)
  • Muscle stiffness- Helps to loosen muscles
  • Cellulite- helps with energy (qi) and blood flow to help smooth the appearance of the skin
  • Anxiety- helps to relax muscle tension caused by and contributing to anxiety and smooth the flow of energy (qi)
  • Gastrointestinal disorders- helps remove stagnation and boosts energy (qi) movement in the digestive system


What does it feel like?

Good question! Think of cupping as a gentle massage but in reverse. The sensation of the skin gently lifting can give instant relief especially to stiff and painful muscles. While the sensation is strange at first, most patients find a cupping session very relaxing and enjoyable.

Why do you get round marks after cupping?

The marks are an indication of how much toxin is moved to the surface. The vacuum of the cup brings stagnant energy (qi), blood and toxins to the surface so that healthy energy (qi) and blood can move freely through your body. The more toxins removed, the darker the marks will be. And if there are no toxins, the marks will be very light and disappear nearly straight away. The marks don’t hurt and subside after a couple of days.

Hmmmm…I think I like the sound of that!

Well what are you waiting for!! Make an appointment today!! Then get ready to relax and relish in the wonder that is cupping!



Cupping. Acupuncture Today. Available at: http://www.acupuncturetoday.com/abc/cupping.php

Cupping Therapy. Available at: http://www.Cuppingtherapy.org
Bernie is offering an Acupuncture Spring Special for the treatment of Hayfever – Initial consultation is $75 for 60mins and $50 for 45mins.
Bernadette Noonan

Bernadette Noonan

Acupuncture & Nutrition

Bernie is a qualified Acupuncturist and Nutritionist living and working on the beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula.

After completing a Bachelor of Health Sciences at the University of Adelaide, she went on to gain a Master of Applied Sciences (Acupuncture) through RMIT and Master of Human Nutrition through Deakin University.

With a strong interest in the link between digestive imbalances and the overall health of the body (pain, anxiety and lowered immune function), Bernie’s treatment aim is to support your body to return to a state of wellness using a blend of Traditional Chinese Medicine philosophy and Western Medical advancement.

Bernie’s acupuncture technique is gentle and calming. Treatments may include acupuncture (needles), laser acupuncture, cupping, tuina (TCM Massage), moxibustion, TDP Heat Lamp, dietary therapy/ nutrition therapy and lifestyle advice.

She believes in ‘food as medicine’ and combines Chinese dietary therapy with Clinical Nutrition to come up with a treatment plan that is individual to you. She believes in a relaxed approach to eating based around seasonal wholefoods and the occasional treat.

She has great success and experience in treating and supporting:

  • Digestive issues such as IBS, crohn’s, colitis, coeliac disease, food intolerances, reflux
  • Stress and energy concerns such as insomnia, depression, anxiety, fatigue, post-viral infection, chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Immune issues such as autoimmune disease, lowered immunity, recurring infections, hayfever and allergies
  • Hormone imbalances including PCOS, irregular periods, PMS and fertility issues
  • Arthritis and inflammatory conditions
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Acute and chronic low back pain
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Sciatica
  • Sporting injuries