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Cupping Therapy Services

Services: Cupping Therapy

Cupping can be used to treat a wide array of health problems.


It was famously used in the 2008 Beijing Olympics to alleviate athletic injuries and pain. We sometimes employ cupping therapy at the end of a treatment to balance out the system and get blood moving or to treat respiratory diseases like the common cold, pneumonia and bronchitis, as well as back, neck, shoulder and other musculoskeletal pains 

What to expect in a treatment 


Cupping will be suggested as part of your acupuncture session if it is appropriate for your condition. Most patients find the sensation enjoyable. I like to describe it as a backwards deep tissue massage- the cups are pulling rather than pushing. When the suction cups are removed they will leave marks on the skin- some people describe them as bruises but they are a more productive than bruises and can be used diagnostically as well. The colour of the marks left on the skin gives us information about the condition of the muscle.  Please be sure to keep the cupping marks warm and covered for a couple of days- it is a great idea to bring an extra scarf to your session. It is also important to drink a lot of water after a cupping session.  


I am late to trying acupuncture and cupping for my sciatic pain.   After spinal injections and chiropractor manipulations did not work, I had 75% relief after my first session.  Donna is amazing and knowledgeable.  I have recommended them to several friends in the New York City area who are also pleased with how well they feel after their treatments.

       -Doreen M. 

How does it work? 

In traditional Chinese medicine cupping is most often combined with an acupuncture treatment. The cups create a vacuum on the patient's skin to dispel stagnation. Old injuries, illnesses, drugs or medication can cause toxins, scar tissue and cell waste to build up in the muscle tissue or joints. This can lead to stagnation of blood and lymph movement in localized areas. Fire cupping therapy has been used for thousands of years to relieve the stagnation and create better Qi and blood flow, allowing the toxins to be released so healing can begin. In recent years fire cupping has been integrated into physical therapy treatments as well as an integral part of pain management. A western way of thinking about this: the skin is the body's largest organ—it contains about 20% of your blood volume—and its network of capillaries transport all the toxins that cupping pulls up to the liver and kidneys, where they can be metabolized and excreted.


The marks left by the cups can be used diagnostically, indicating the level of blood and Qi stagnation, dampness or toxin accumulation in your body. The colour and pattern of the marks reflect the level of stagnation in that area. Slightly red cupping marks indicate healthy blood circulation, the darker the marks, the more severe the stagnation. The location of the stagnation in relationship to acupuncture channels gives us further information about the patient's constitution. Cupping therapy can also help to release trigger points which help to relieve neck and back pain. 

suction cups at east village acupuncture in new york city
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