Cupping: An Adjunct Therapy with Acupuncture

There are several branches of Chinese medicine. One branch of Chinese medicine is acupuncture. Over the years acupuncture has become more and more popular. There is an increase of people finding that acupuncture is effective to treat many different health ailments. One area of acupuncture that many people don’t know about is cupping. Cupping is an adjunct therapy typically used by Chinese doctors in conjunction with acupuncture treatments.

Top Reasons Why to Try Acupuncture at Master Lu's Health CenterWhat is cupping?

Cupping has been used for around 2,000 years. It has been utilized among Chinese physicians both in ancient and modern times. Some of the earliest records of cupping were written around the fourth century.

Cupping is a healing modality. It will allow the blood to circulate and remove toxins from your body. When the cup sucks onto your body it brings up the skin to help the blood flow and remove toxins.

There are several methods how cupping is done. Traditionally, ancient Chinese physicians had a hollow bamboo or horn in which they would put fire inside to create a vacuum so that the hollow horn or bamboo would be able to suck onto the patient’s body. Now in modern times many practitioners will use glass jars or cups. Some of the cups are even done with a suction valve so no fire is needed. However, most practitioners in China will still use the fire method with glass jars. The cups are typically placed on areas where the pain is or along the channels to allow the blood to circulate and the healing process to take place.

In our clinic at Master Lu’s Health Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, we use the fire method with glass jars. What we typically do is get a cotton ball with alcohol and hold the cotton ball with a hemostat. We will then light the cotton ball and use the fire to create a vacuum affect in the cup. Once we do that we will stick the cup on the patient’s body for a few minutes. In some cases we will also use some oil so we can move the cup along the patient’s body.

What are the uses of Cupping?

Cupping is indicated for many different types of diseases. If you are having low back pain, neck pain, knee pain, and shoulder pain cupping is an effective treatment. It will allow the blood to flow better and stimulate your body’s self-healing mechanisms.

Besides musculoskeletal health ailments, cupping can be done for those with gastrointestinal diseases, asthma, and arthritis. For example, we will use cupping for those with asthma. We will put cups on the chest and the Lung channel. The cups allow everything to open up and promote the blood circulation.

Depending on the health condition, cups are usually placed for 5-10 minutes. Some practitioners will do cupping for just a few minutes. The important thing to remember is that cupping is effective.


If you are having low back, neck, and shoulder pain. Cupping along with acupuncture will greatly enhance your treatment. It will improve your pain and relax your muscles. Cupping a wonderful adjunct with acupuncture treatments. If you want to learn more about how cupping will help you, please feel free to contact us anytime!