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Exploring the Benefits and Techniques of Dry Cupping

Updated: Apr 19


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It is now very common knowledge that top-performing athletes and film stars are using the ancient art of cupping therapy. The reason that it has regained popularity is because of its therapeutic benefits, which include:


  • Increased blood flow to an area, which helps speed up the healing process from an acute injury.

  • Releasing muscle tension

  • Easing symptoms of repetitive strain injury and rheumatoid arthritis

  • Digestion

  • Supporting the immune system

  • Reducing pain

  • Increase the flow of Qi


Cupping therapy is a treatment that is both safe and non-invasive, and it leaves red circular marks on the skin without causing any discomfort. The duration of these marks varies depending on the technique used, ranging from minutes to 7 days. Although it can be done as a standalone session, I often combine dry cupping therapy with Zen Shiatsu for the best possible outcome when required.


Cupping Styles



There are two main styles: wet cupping and dry cupping.

Dry cupping, is the style I provide. Suction cups are comfortably applied to your body, they are either left in place or I may use a sliding technique to warm an area.

Wet cupping is not provided at Zen Shiatsu and Wellbeing. This involves a small piercing of the skin to perform bloodletting technique with the cups.


How many treatments to see the benefits?


Four weekly sessions are recommended, and progress is reviewed after each session.

Cupping therapy as a treatment can be done every 2-3 days with very little chance of ill effects. It is advisable to have them that close together if the condition has been with you for a long time.


Is dry cupping Similar to Massage?


Yes and no. How is that for a classic answer?

They both stimulate and nourish the skin, calm the nervous system, and release tension in the muscles, but the benefits of cupping is that it can also apply negative pressure to the skin, which is a lifting motion, helping to give separation where needed, which is an application that is hard to replicate with massage.


Origins of Cupping


Cupping therapy is an ancient art, that is over 2,500 year old. Throughout the world many cultures used this technique to remove poisons from a patient. The first cups used, before we arrived at the materials that cups are made of today, were animal horns with a hole made at the narrow end, then the medicine man would suck to create a vacuum and draw out the pus or blood from the person.

There are various kinds of cups used today, some are more commonly used than others. They each have their pros and cons.

  • Silicon

  • Plastic

  • Glass

  • Bamboo

  • Porcelain

Apparently there are records in the 'Ebers Papyrus', one of the oldest medical books in the world found in Egypt, that dates back to 1,550 BC, of cupping being used systematically for other ailments other than poison. I have been searching through this book at the 'Wellcome Collection' in London, but I'm yet to find it. When I can confirm, I will update this post, or if you know where it is in the book, please contact me.


Ebers Papyrus. A copy is in London

Ebers Papyrus


I find it interesting that this technique for curing illnesses has existed in Africa as well as China and everywhere in between. It was integrated into numerous medical practises, and has been treating more or less the same conditions for over 2,500 years.

The earliest records of cupping being systematically used in China date from around 202 BC, during the Han dynasty. This evidence was found in the 'Mawangdui Silk Text'.

Treatments with wet and dry cupping were documented between 400 BC and 202 BC in other parts of the world.


Zen Shiatsu helps to support and regulate your system.
While working with the physical, It is also helping the psycho-emotional.
While working on the flow, It is also helping to restore
Zen Shiatsu has a holistic approach to maintaining your wellbeing.
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