Acupuncture-inspired suction cup treatment relieves nagging muscle and back pain

What is cupping?

Cupping is a therapy within acupuncture that is used to improve blood circulation to sore muscles and relieve pain.

How does cupping work?

Cupping uses suction cups. Trained Chambers Clinic practitioners work with you to locate sore trigger points or other areas of musculoskeletal pain.

We spread a thin layer of oil then overlay a glass or plastic cup on the area and use a special “gun” to pump air out, sucking the skin above its usual horizontal plane. This brings blood and oxygen to the surface, which helps to improve circulation and healing while removing wastes that accumulate in the underlying tissue.

You may have seen Michael Phelps and the US Olympic swim team with red circular marks on their backs during the last Olympic Games. This was the result of cupping to release trigger points and relieve muscle pain. As a patient, you may get these marks on your body as well. Rest assured, these are cosmetic only – these are not painful, though can last up to several days as the body heals the area.

Cupping may also be used as part of an overall acupuncture protocol and we often will place above acupuncture points to enhance the healing effects of treatment. Most often we place cups on the back where there are numerous master points for the organ meridians. These can help reduce pain and speed healing. The removing of toxins also can help boost immune function.

Why should I get cupping?

Like acupuncture, cupping is very relaxing. Patients lie comfortably on a table in a warm room for 15-30 minutes.

Moreover, cupping offers effective pain relief without the use of drugs and any side effects.


Conditions that benefit from cupping:


  • Muscle soreness and pain

  • Low back pain

  • Upper back pain

  • Tight hamstrings

  • Migraine and tension headaches

  • Arthritis

  • Fibromyalgia

Young woman getting treatment at medical