Discover Chinese Fire Cupping: Ancient Therapy for Modern Massage

Guest Blog by Rebecca Brumfield, LMT
Guest Blog by Rebecca Brumfield, LMT

Chinese fire cupping is an ancient therapy dating back over 3,000 years, 
used for pain reduction and boosting the body’s over all immune system. In short, the suction and negative pressure of the glass cups rapidly provides rigid soft tissue release up to 4 inches deep by loosening and lifting the fascia and muscles. Cupping releases white blood cells, platelets, fibroblasts and other anti- inflammatory chemicals to promote healing and break up adhesions. The tissues get saturated with fresh new blood cells carrying vitamins, minerals, and oxygen while the suction
pulls stagnant blood out of the area. Think of it as a vacuum cleaner for the connective tissue. It sucks the dust, crumbs, abandoned cellular debris and forgotten emotional baggage that have manifested themselves away between your bones, muscles and fascia.

fire and cups

What are the benefits of cupping?

  • Flushes lactic acid & stagnant blood from acute & chronic contracted muscles
  • Breaks up adhesions from frozen shoulder and rotator cuff tears
  • Relieves pain from sciatica/ back pain, shin splints, whiplash, and other conditions
  • Alleviates discomfort from respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema
  • Relief from cough & breaks up phlegm buildup in the lungs
  • Facilitates the flow of lymph, which helps remove bacteria & toxic substances from the body
  • Reduces chance of getting the common cold or flu
  • Effective pain relief from chronic joint rheumatism and arthritis
  • Increases production of synovial fluids in the joints
  • Dramatically breaks up scar tissue surrounding the joints
  • Encourages a sufficient supply of nutrition to the tissues
  • Encourages blood & lymph circulation to the tissues
  • Increases secretion of digestive fluids & nutrition absorption
  • Relieves chronic gastroenteritis disorders & colon blockages
  • Stimulates the spinal nerves & the automatic nervous system
  • Temporarily dissipates cellulite dimpling
  • Smoothing the appearance of stretch marks


What are those marks and do they hurt?

When a condition exists where sufficient pathologic factors and stagnant fluids are present and a vacuum is applied to the area, a hickey-like discoloration will sometimes appear on the skin due to increased circulation; the darker the color, the more adhesions, stagnation, and scar tissue are present in the underlying area. This is the therapeutically desired effect. If there is no stagnation present, there will be only a pink marking which disappears in a few minutes to a couple of hours. No breaks in the skin are created and it is a perfectly safe and sterile procedure and without pain. The marks are NOT bruises as bruises are caused from impact trauma.

fire cupping spine

How long do the marks last? 

The color and pattern of the marks depend on the level
of stagnation in the area, may range from a light pink to bright red to dark purple, usually lasting 3 days to a week – sometimes longer if the person is very sick or sedentary. People who live/work/play in toxic environments (or were exposed to a heavy dose of toxic material) may consistently mark. Sites where there is old trauma or injury may require multiple cupping treatments to remove all stagnation. You will find in follow up treatments the marks will be progressively lighter as the pathogens are systemically removed from the body.

Want to read more? You may enjoy these additional sources:

  • Cupping by Subhuti Dharmananda, Ph.D., Director, Institute for Traditional Medicine, Portland, Oregon.
  • Cupping Therapy. A World of Acupuncture website.
  • Cupping. Acupuncture Today website.

Rebecca Brumfield, LMT,  a licensed massage therapist and certified in cupping therapy., is the founder and owner of Vida Pura Spa in Baton Rouge, LA. Vida Pura Spa utilizes holistic wellness therapies using spa traditions and therapies from around the world in order to maximize results and enhance the physical, mental, and spiritual well being for each individual person. Organic skin care and therapeutic sessions are specifically tailored to the guest’s needs for that day.  Vida Pura Spa is open 7 days a week from 8am-7pm, by appointment only. Complimentary consultation available. For a full list of treatments, visit Vida Pura Spa on-line. For the latests in spa specials and events,  follow Vida Pura Spa on social media:  Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.