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Fire Cupping

Fire cupping treatment in progress

What is Fire Cupping?

Fire Cupping, also referred to as Cupping Therapy, is a Traditional Chinese Medicine therapy that works by helping to remove any blockages stopping the flow of Qi (pronounced 'chee') in the body.


Therapists will place warm glass cups onto a specific acupuncture point along an energy meridian. By warming the air within each cup, a vacuum is created that draws the tissue inside when placed onto the skin. This helps increase the blood flow, loosening the connective tissue, and stimulates the body's natural healing process.

This therapeutic process is often compared to deep tissue massage, which is used to break up residual scar tissue gradually and reduce pain in the area. Similarly, cups are placed on the back, shoulders, neck, arms or legs or a specific area where the patient is experiencing pain.

The cups can be left in place for between five to twenty minutes, depending on the nature of the condition and what your practitioner believes will work best.


Sometimes if the condition requires, your practitioner will also use techniques such as sliding the cups along the muscle to stretch, like in the action of a massage, or will use a technique that is called pop cupping, this technique encourages further blood and Qi flow to the muscles. The cups will then be gently removed by lifting one edge, allowing air to flow back in, breaking the vacuum seal.

Does Fire Cupping hurt?

Generally, fire cupping is very therapeutic, with many patients reporting that the experience is relaxing and feels similar to a deep tissue massage. Although the red marks left after each session can look scary, cupping is not painful, and the therapeutic release you feel can last for weeks.

What are the side effects?

Fire cupping can have some temporary side effects, such as circular bruising and soreness that can vary based on the level of suction created. These bruises can often last for a few days or a couple of weeks before fading away.


There may also be some temporary discomfort during the session as Qi is unblocked and tissue/muscle are loosened. Within TCM teachings, these symptoms are often seen as a positive outcome and suggest that your treatment has been successful in releasing blocked Qi and toxins.

Practitioners will always check if patients are suffering from any bleeding disorders or skin conditions before starting their sessions. Cupping should not be performed on skin that is inflamed, infected or burned or on patients that are suffering from haemophilia or other bleeding disorders.


If you are concerned about any conditions that may be affected by cupping therapy, please speak to one of our practitioners ahead of time, you can book a free discovery call, giving you time to discuss your concerns with our practitioners.

How can it help?

As with many alternative treatments, the benefits of cupping start with localised pain relief and a feeling of relaxation. Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners use cupping to improve patients' overall health and well-being by unblocking Qi in the body.


Cupping can help increase blood flow and remove pain which is why many athletes and those with sports injuries commonly use this treatment.

There are many conditions that fire cupping can assist with, some of the most common being listed here:

  • Coughs, Asthma and Congestion

  • Digestive Issues

  • Localised Pain

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Back, Shoulder and Neck pain

  • High blood pressure

  • Fertility issues

  • Insomnia

  • Acne and Eczema

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Shingles

Man during fire cupping

In recent years the World Health Organisation (WHO) has increasingly supported the practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine, including fire cupping. Its safety, minimal side effects, and growing body of evidence-based research have helped demonstrate numerous health benefits.


Get in touch today

If you would like to find out more about Fire Cupping, how it could benefit your life or have any questions, please get in touch with us today on 01772 230969 or email us at We proudly offer a range of Traditional Chinese Medicine treatments from our clinic in Longridge for a range of conditions and ailments. To book an appointment, please visit our Longridge Clinic booking page

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