Cupping Therapy: The Ultimate Guide To Cupping In NYC

Cupping is an ancient holistic practice that has been used for centuries in various cultures around the world. And although the exact origin of cupping therapy is unknown, its use has been documented in early Egyptian and Chinese medical practices.1 

Today, cupping therapy is still widely used in many parts of the world, including New York City, where it has gained popularity recently as a complementary therapy for various health conditions.2 But what exactly is cupping therapy, and why is it becoming increasingly popular in NYC? 

This guide will answer these questions and more! We’ll look at what cupping therapy is and discuss the different types of cupping. Additionally, we’ll cover the benefits of cupping therapy and provide information on what to expect during a cupping therapy session. 

But before we dive into all that, it's important to note that cupping therapy is often used with other remedial massage techniques, such as Swedish and deep tissue massage therapies, to maximize the therapeutic benefits. However, these benefits largely depend on where you receive your massage therapy. That's why it's important to seek professional services from a reputable source like PRESS

At PRESS, we offer professional Full Body, Back, Neck & Shoulders, Pregnancy, and Corporate Chair Massage therapies that are 100% tailored to your individual needs. Plus, our team of certified massage therapists is passionate about providing the highest quality of care and uses only the best products and techniques that will leave you feeling relaxed and invigorated. 

So, book a session with us today and see why PRESS is the ultimate solution for all your massage needs. 

Let’s get started! 

What Is Cupping Therapy? 

Cupping therapy is a form of alternative medicine where special cups are placed on the skin to create suction. This suction pulls the skin and underlying tissue away from the body, promoting the flow of blood, lymph, and energy throughout the body. This can help to reduce pain, improve circulation, reduce inflammation, and boost the immune system.2 

This therapy is typically done using either glass or silicone cups. Glass cups are often heated with a flame and then placed on the skin. This creates a vacuum that pulls the skin and underlying tissue away from the body. The cups are left in place for several minutes, allowing the suction to work its magic. Silicone cups are squeezed to create similar suction before being strategically  placed on the skin.

What is Cupping Therapy?

Who Applies Cupping Therapy?  

A licensed massage therapist typically administers cupping therapy. It can also be performed by acupuncturists, physical therapists, chiropractors, or other medical practitioners. However, it is important to ensure that you are working with an experienced and licensed  practitioner to reap the maximum benefits of this powerful therapy. 

Can I Apply Cupping Therapy To Myself?  

Absolutely! We recommend purchasing a soft silicone set to try cupping at home. When applying cupping therapy to yourself, it is important to take the necessary precautions to ensure that you do not cause any harm. It is best to start with a smaller cup and work your way up to larger ones as you become more comfortable with the process. 

Make sure to use the right amount of pressure and avoid using too much pressure or suction, as this can cause bruising. Plus, remember to clean the cups after each use to prevent any potential infection and keep the skin moisturized to avoid any irritation. 

Types Of Cupping  

There are various forms of cupping therapy, each with its own unique set of benefits. Here are some of the most common types of cupping therapy: 

Dry Cupping  

This is the most common type of cupping therapy and involves using special cups to create suction on the skin. Usually, the cups are heated and then placed on the skin. The vacuum created by the cup helps to draw out toxins, increase circulation, and reduce pain and inflammation.4 

A dry cupping session can range from 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the area being treated. The cups can be left in place for a few minutes or moved around the body in a massage-like fashion. 

Dry Cupping

Wet Cupping 

Wet cupping is similar to dry cupping but involves making small incisions in the skin with a sterile scalpel or lancet and then applying the cups over the incisions. The cups are left in place for a few minutes, allowing the suction to draw the blood out of the body. Once the cups are removed, the incisions are then covered with healing ointment and bandaged. Wet cupping is a controversial practice and we don’t recommend it at our studios.

Massage Cupping

Fire Cupping 

This unique cupping treatment involves placing flammable substances, like alcohol, inside a cup and setting it on fire. When the fire goes out, the cup is quickly placed upside down on a certain part of the body. 

As the air inside the cup cools, it creates a vacuum that pulls the skin away from the body. The suction effect helps increase blood flow, loosens the connective tissue, and stimulates the body's natural healing process. 

Fire Cupping

Flash Cupping 

Also known as empty cupping, flash cupping is a modern take on traditional cupping therapy. This process involves placing multiple cups on the body and then quickly releasing them after suction without delay. The suction created by flash cupping helps reduce local congestion and stimulates circulation over a broader area.5 

Flash Cupping

What Is Cupping Therapy Used For? 

Cupping therapy is often used as an alternative treatment for various health conditions. It is believed that the suction created by the cups helps break up blockages and removes toxins from the body, improving circulation and overall health.2 

But remember, to reap the full benefits of cupping, it is best to combine it with other holistic treatments, such as massage therapy. That's why contacting PRESS today for a personalized massage therapy session is a great idea. 

At PRESS, we offer high-quality massage therapies that are 100% tailored to the individual needs of our clients. Plus, we offer various services, including Full Body, Back, Neck & Shoulders, Pregnancy, and Corporate Chair Massage therapy so everyone can find something that works for them. 

Book a session with us today, and let us help you heal your body and mind! 

Benefits Of Cupping Therapy 

Several studies have shown that cupping therapy can provide physical and psychological benefits to those using it. It has been found to be an effective treatment for: 

  • Pain relief2 
  • Improved immunity2
  • Improved blood circulation2
  • Relaxation2 
  • Detoxification2 
  • Improved skin6  

What To Expect Of A Cupping Therapy Session 

A typical cupping therapy session lasts anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. The session starts by discussing your medical history with the therapist and then determining which cupping therapy is best for you. 

The therapist then uses a lubricant to create a seal between your skin and the cup and places the cup on the area of concern. The therapist uses either heat, compression,  or a vacuum pump to create suction. The cups remain in place for up to 15 minutes. During this time, you may feel a pulling sensation as the suction draws the skin and underlying tissue into the cup. 

Once the cups are removed, the therapist assesses the skin to see if any marks have been left. These marks are usually red and are a sign of increased circulation and the release of toxins from the body. 

When the session ends, the therapist may recommend lifestyle changes or additional treatments to help you achieve your desired results. 

What to expect of a Cupping Therapy?

Pre And Post Procedure  

As with any therapy, understanding what to expect before and after your session can help ensure a successful and enjoyable experience. Let's take a look at the pre and post-procedure protocols for cupping therapy: 


Before your cupping therapy session begins, your therapist will assess your medical history to determine the best course of treatment for you. It is important to communicate any underlying medical conditions or medications you are taking to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the therapy. 

Also, your therapist may advise you to undress to your comfort level and provide you with a sheet or gown to cover up with. 

During the session, your practitioner will likely move the cups around on your skin to create suction and achieve the desired result. 


Once the session is over, your therapist may recommend drinking plenty of water to help stay hydrated. Also, your therapist may suggest additional treatments or lifestyle changes to help you achieve your desired outcome. 

It's important to note that your body may feel soreness or tenderness after a cupping therapy session. Therefore, you should take it easy and avoid strenuous activities for the remainder of the day to allow your body time to heal. 

Final Thoughts  

Cupping therapy is a powerful and effective alternative treatment for a variety of health conditions. However, cupping therapy can provide an even deeper level of relaxation and healing when combined with other massage therapies like Swedish massage or deep tissue massage. That's why you should seek high-quality massage therapy from a reputable source like PRESS

At PRESS, we understand the power of massage therapy and strive to provide you with an experience that is safe, relaxing, and therapeutic. Whether you're looking for a Full Body, Back, Neck & Shoulders, Pregnancy, or Corporate Chair Massage therapy, PRESS has you covered. 

Book a session with us today and reap the benefits of high-quality massage therapy! 


  1. Qureshi NA;Ali GI;Abushanab TS;El-Olemy AT;Alqaed MS;El-Subai IS;Al-Bedah AMN; (n.d.). History of cupping (hijama): A narrative review of literature. Journal of integrative medicine. Retrieved from 
  2. Al-Bedah, A. M. N., Elsubai, I. S., Qureshi, N. A., Aboushanab, T. S., Ali, G. I. M., El-Olemy, A. T., Khalil, A. A. H., Khalil, M. K. M., & Alqaed, M. S. (2018, April 30). The medical perspective of cupping therapy: Effects and mechanisms of action. Journal of traditional and complementary medicine. Retrieved from,and%20modulates%20the%20immune%20system. 
  3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Cupping. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Retrieved from 
  4. Silva, H. J. de A., Saragiotto, B. T., Silva, R. S., Lins, C. A. de A., & de Souza, M. C. (2019, December 22). Dry cupping in the treatment of individuals with non-specific chronic low back pain: A protocol for a placebo-controlled, randomised, double-blind study. BMJ open. Retrieved from,to%20chronic%20low%20back%20pain. 
  5. Cupping therapy. Physiopedia. (n.d.). Retrieved from,circulation%20over%20a%20broader%20area. 
  6. Author links open overlay panelIlkay Zihni Chirali MBAcC RCHM. (2014, June 25). Benefits of cupping therapy. Traditional Chinese Medicine Cupping Therapy (Third Edition). Retrieved from 
  7. Cupping therapy. Cupping Therapy - an overview | ScienceDirect Topics. (n.d.). Retrieved from


Is Cupping Therapy Painful? 

If performed correctly, cupping shouldn't be painful. Many people find it to be a relaxing and therapeutic experience. However, due to the suction that is created, some people may experience a pulling sensation or slight discomfort during the session. 

Is Cupping Therapy Safe?  

Yes! Cupping therapy is generally considered a safe and effective treatment when performed by a trained professional. However, it is important to communicate any underlying medical conditions or medications you are taking to ensure the therapy is safe and effective for your situation. 

How Often Should You Get Cupping? 

The frequency of cupping therapy sessions depends on your individual needs and goals. Literature suggests that cupping therapy can be effective when performed daily, three times per week, and even once per week.7 

However, it is best to discuss your individual needs with your therapist to determine the most beneficial frequency. 

Does Cupping Remove Toxins? 

Yes! Several studies have shown that cupping can help remove toxins from the body.2 As the cups create suction on the skin, they draw metabolic waste, excess fluid, and toxins to the surface, which can then be eliminated through the body's natural detoxification processes. 

Posted on Tue, Apr 04, 2023