Medical cupping is considered an “ancient” alternative medicine, but the benefits are largely debated amongst both scientific and medical communities. While the practice began centuries ago throughout different parts of the world based on superstitions of the time, advancements in technology have allowed researchers to uncover a variety of surprising benefits behind this treatment.

If you’ve ever been curious about giving this unique therapy a try, then check out these scientifically proven benefits. Skeptics beware, this information might just surprise you.

What Is Cupping?

For those unfamiliar, cupping as considered a form of bloodletting in which cups are placed over the skin to create suction. This vacuum draws blood to the surface of the skin, which has various purposes depending on which practitioner you talk to.

Some think it helps to align your energy or chi, while others view it as a means of muscle healing and treatment of specific conditions. Up until now, the benefits of cupping have been widely debated.

Several patients have claimed that the treatment helps to reduce joint and muscle pain, while others say the find relief from migraines. The answers to whether any of this is true or just pseudoscience have finally been confirmed. Here’s what research has found.

The True Benefits

Yes, you read that last line correctly. Research has revealed a variety of practical cupping therapy benefits. Take these fantastic discoveries into consideration.

Fighting Weakness

Both illness and malnutrition cause fatigue in the body, especially minor illnesses that are difficult to diagnose. Left unchecked, the fatigue worsens, and the person finds themselves running on near empty almost every day.

The cupping benefits for weakness are found in the treatment’s ability to provide blood flow to the areas that need it most. It opens up nerves that become stiff and clears numerous obstructions within the blood vessels without causing damage to a person’s muscles.

While cupping might not cure the underlying cause, it can help the body to fight off its fatigue. So, those who claim to feel energized afterward aren’t making it up in their heads.

Curing Fever

Several cultures have used this alternative medicine to treat fevers, but only recently has research been able to prove it as an effective treatment. In the olden days, it was believed that fevers were caused by “bad” blood. Today, we know that pathogens are the cause.

By drawing the blood up and out of the skin in wet cupping, pathogens are expelled into the cups along with stagnant blood. While chicken soup might help, it can’t hurt to have a cupping treatment afterward.


Those suffering from skin diseases may also find relief with this treatment. Cupping combats:

  • Acne
  • Herpes
  • Abscesses
  • Boils
  • Stubborn blackheads
  • And any blood-related disease

This is due to the creation of lymph fluids during the process, which fight off bacteria and a host of pathogens. It also purifies the skin, hence the aid it provides to those with mild to severe acne.

By improving the skin’s respiration as well as the metabolic activity and exchange of gasses between skin cells, cupping also helps the glands found under the skin excrete uric acid. This process removes toxic substances on the skin’s surface while helping your outermost layer fight off infection.

Liver Disease

Cupping benefits extend to your liver as well! The process removes senile and stagnant corpuscles while extracting impurities in the bloodstream. Ipso facto, blood flows more productively to the liver. The healthier blood flowing to the liver, the better your organ will function.

This process helps metabolize cholesterol, transform excess triglycerides into useable fuel rather than fat, and ultimately releases the storage of excess sugar. All in all, this leads to a healthier liver that is less prone to disease. Simply put, your liver gets a blood detoxifying boost from cupping.

Improved Circulation

This one might seem obvious, but cupping’s ability to draw blood into areas of the body helps tremendously with circulation. The effects are not just temporary, though.

Regular cupping has been shown to strengthen blood vessels and arterial muscles by getting rid of congested blood within them. As the flow of blood becomes more consistent, the body ultimately functions at a higher capacity.

While it’s no substitute for a good workout, this particular benefit aids multiple systems within the body. Combine it with exercise and the benefits from both are sure to turn you into a lean, mean, healthy machine.

Immune Boost

Adding to the increased circulation, cupping benefits the immune system thanks to the increased blood flow. This is more of a side-effect to the last benefit, but a positive factor nonetheless.

Gastrointestinal Treatment

Your body’s intestines, spleen, and stomach all generate heat and energy for you to consume. Working together like a machine, an issue with any single part causes problems for the whole system.

Thankfully, cupping helps your inner workings create the essential digestive fluids they need to function like clockwork. By providing essential blood flow, this treatment gives your organs a performance boost.

Rheumatic Disease

Believe it or not, cupping is also a natural remedy for rheumatic disease. Numerous individuals report immediate relief from their symptoms after just a few sessions, while research has backed up their claims. Know anyone with the following?

  • Joint pain
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Lumbago
  • Rheumatism

Medications can be astronomically expensive. Giving cupping a try is worth it if you can find a solution for a fraction of the cost.

Benefitting the Nerves

Perhaps the most obvious benefit comes from the sheer relaxation alternative medicines often provide. There’s a preconceived notion that cupping is painful or uncomfortable due to the red rings it leaves, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth.

The process is incredibly relaxing, calming the body and mind as the stresses of the day melt away. It might only last ten or twenty minutes, but what a break from reality that short time can be.

As for the red rings, those are caused by the blood being pulled to the surface of the skin. They usually go away in a day or two, and never leave a permanent mark behind.

Multiple Benefits

Cupping benefits come in all shapes and sizes, making this one of the most beneficial alternative medicine treatments around. There’s a reason this art has practiced for centuries. While “doctors” in the early days based their assumptions on superstition, today’s research sheds lights on the partial truths they got right.

To give you a recap of those benefits, cupping can:

  • Fight off fatigue
  • Cure a fever
  • Combat dermatology issues
  • Prevent liver disease
  • Improve blood circulation
  • Treat gastrointestinal issues
  • Provide aid for rheumatic disease symptoms
  • Calm the nerves

Does This Work for All Types of Cupping?

No. It’s worth noting that these benefits are strictly associated with wet cupping or Hijama in which blood is drawn out from the skin and into the cups. This procedure should only be carried out by a licensed professional.

Dry cupping, which utilizes either a pump or flame to create the suction, is the first part of wet cupping. However, this alone does not have entirely the same effect. The dry variation focuses more on drawing blood and fluid away from inflamed areas.

There is also massage cupping, which involves moving the cups around via oil on the skin to carry the suction over to different areas. While easily the most relaxing out of the three methods, it acts more as another form of massage than it does as an aid to the body, hence the name.

With All of These Benefits, Are There Any Side Effects?

Unlike one of these prescription drug television commercials, cupping benefits do not come with a warning label or list of side effects. That’s the benefit of holistic medicine; it’s a natural way to deliver healing benefits.  

Aside from the temporary red marks, it leaves behind; there’s nothing else that happens after a cupping session. Some patients might take a little time to get used to the suction, and others might experience light bruising from the suction itself.

There are a few people who should not try cupping, however. Those include:

  • Pregnant or nursing mothers
  • Hemophiliacs
  • Children
  • Those with Cancer
  • Anyone with deep vein thrombosis
  • People who experience frequent muscle spasms
  • Anyone with bone fractures

Ready to Give It A Try?

With all of these fantastic cupping benefits, are you ready to give this ancient remedy a try? While it might not be for everyone, perhaps you or someone you know could have their life improved by one of the positive side effects on this list.

In some cases, you might even find that your health insurance covers holistic practitioners and therefore the cost of a cupping session. Whether you’re still a skeptic or not after reading this article, it can’t hurt to give it a try. Who knows, you might just like it!

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