If you’ve tried faddy diets, you’ve gone on relentless exercise regimes or you genuinely do eat healthily but nothing shifts those extra pounds, then you need to re-think! It’s widely documented that certain alternative therapy treatments can actually help you reach your weight loss goals.

One of the most talked-about and the most successful is cupping for weight loss. You possibly wonder why all the conventional weight loss methods stop working after a while. Well, one of the main reasons is that after the age of 25, your metabolism starts to slow down.

From your mid-twenties, your body starts to lose its fat-burning tissue which means that fat stops burning off as easily. Cupping helps to restore the energy that your body needs to shift those fat cells. A traditional Chinese medicine treatment, it’s designed to promote faster weight loss as long as you also follow a healthy diet and regular exercise.

It’s proven too. This study on mildly obese Japanese women shows how cupping along with exercise and healthy eating)can actually promote better weight loss results. Before you embark on cupping for weight loss, here’s some more information. [1]

The Ancient Chinese therapy cupping dates back to over 5,000 years and was used in the Far East and many Eastern European countries too to promote natural healing. Cupping stimulates blood circulation in the area of concern, unblocking energy channels and breaking down fat cells too. It also is an excellent method for encouraging the lymphatic system to rid itself of toxins and impurities plus it reduces water retention.[2]

Cupping has roots in ancient medical traditions across Europe and Asia, according to Ilkay Zihni Chirali, TCM practitioner and cupping therapist in Bexleyheath, England, author of “Cupping Therapy: Traditional Chinese Medicine.” In TCM, practitioners thousands of years ago used heated cattle horns to draw pus and blood from boils. Cupping appears in ancient Egyptian manuscripts. Hippocrates and Galen, the father of western medicine, recommended cupping for many different types of illnesses. Europeans continued to use cupping and its related practice of bloodletting until the rise of modern medicine in the twentieth century. Folk medical practitioners worldwide still practice cupping.

Additionally, it gets rid of lactic acid build-up in the muscles which are why many athletes use it for muscle recovery. The process involves using warmed suction cups made out of flexible plastic or sometimes glass never at a hot temperature. The cups are placed on pressure point areas of the body to create a vacuum between the cup and the skin. The suction is released using a piston mechanism at the top of the cup. Cupping shouldn’t hurt but be aware that most cupping techniques leave a mark on the skin. The deeper the mark, the more toxins present. Marks typically fade between three days to three weeks.

Kinds of Cupping Therapy

1. Wet Cupping

Wet cupping is slightly different from dry cupping. The initial process is the same: heating and applying the cups to create suction. The difference is that it involves the skin being punctured. The result is bleeding. [3] But, do not worry. The blood released in this therapy is toxic blood. Wet Cupping therapy will detoxify you and remove impurities in your body. In case you are worried, the wounds from skin puncture will heal in a few days without a scar.

2. Dry Cupping

For dry cupping therapy, the cups are heated before they are applied to the skin and moved around. As we have mentioned earlier, this will then suck out the skin and muscle tissue, stimulating its health benefits. [4] Keep in mind that this therapy requires the use of flames or other heat-generating objects. It can cause serious burns if not done properly. So, make sure that your therapist is an expert to prevent that situation.

3. Fire Cupping

This technique involves creating a suction effect by putting a lighted cotton ball in the cup. It is believed that heat helps extract dampness from the body. For stronger effects, an acupuncture needle is inserted into an acupoint and the cup is placed on top of it.

4. Gliding Cupping

Oil is applied onto the body and the cups are pushed gently along meridians for about 10-15 minutes. This technique can cover a larger area more quickly hence it is used on areas such as the back and thigh areas.

The technique of Cupping Therapy

A cupping treatment starts with warming cups with a flame. This creates a vacuum that, when applied on your skin, exerts suction. The suction loosens connective tissue, allowing new blood to enter the surrounding area. Of course, an open flame is never used anywhere where it can scald you.

Nonetheless, the idea of heated cups can be terrifying! It’s no surprise then that heatless suction cups are gaining popularity. These come with rubber valves that manually pump out air without applying heat.

After briefly inserting a flame into a special glass cup in order to remove some of the oxygen, a practitioner will place the mouth of the cup on your skin, usually on your back. Some cups have a rubber bulb attached to them to remove air by suction. The cup, which now contains a vacuum, draws in the skin and muscle tissue, often raising a red or black welt. 

Essentially, cupping creates an area of stagnation on the back, triggering a reaction in the body’s qi that gets things moving again, according to Alon Marcus, doctor of Oriental medicine practicing in Oakland, California, and author of “Foundations for Integrative Musculoskeletal Medicine: An East-West Approach.”

Benefits of Cupping Therapy

1. Resolves Skin Conditions

It notes that the studies that supported these findings were at a high risk of bias. So, more rigorous, high-quality studies are necessary to verify the findings. A study paper in the journal PLoS OneTrusted Source found that there was some evidence for cupping therapy is effective at treating herpes zoster and acne. [5]

2. Helpful For Sportspersons

A study paper in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary MedicineTrusted Source notes that professional athletes are increasingly using cupping therapy as part of their recovery practices. [6] However, the study found no consistent evidence to show that it was effective for anything related to sports recovery.

3. Reduces Stubborn Fat

Cupping also works when it comes to targeting the stubborn fat around your waist, your thighs, your upper arms. As cupping affects your deep tissues, it can reach visceral fat located on the deeper level just as effectively. The fats are liquefied and removed through the lymphatic system.

4. Better Digestion

After a cupping treatment, people who experience uncontrollable cravings may find their appetite is reduced to more manageable levels. [7] Cupping also restores the body’s digestive functions, leading to visible improvements to bowel movements, indigestion, heartburn and bloating.

5. Relieves Spasm

A study paper in the journal Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found some evidence to suggest that cupping may reduce pain. However, its authors note that there were limits to the quality of the studies that showed this.

A meta-analysis that appears in the journal Revista Latina-Americano De EnfermagemTrusted Source claims that there may be evidence for cupping being effective in treating back pain. However, again, the researchers note that most studies were low-quality and that there is a need for more standardization in future studies. [7] One study paper in the journal BMJ Open came to a similar conclusion for the effectiveness of cupping for neck pain. The researchers note that there is a need for better-quality studies to determine whether cupping therapy is truly effective. [8]


While it is an effective therapy for weight loss, you still need to exercise caution. There are times when you need to avoid cupping therapy. 

For instance, if you have or are prone to skin conditions such as edema or skin ulcers, you should avoid cupping therapy. The same applies if you are pregnant. Please avoid cupping during pregnancy. It is true that abdominal cupping weight loss works. However, cupping weight loss results vary from person to person. So there is no definite amount of how much weight you will lose with this therapy.

Cupping benefits weight loss effort. After all, the therapy is effective for weight loss and it comes with many health benefits and with no significant side effect. Should you try cupping therapy for weight loss? Yes, you should if you don’t have a condition that won’t allow you to

End Note

Cupping is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) therapy where inverted plastic or glass cups are applied to the acupuncture points on the body. There are many ways to lose weight. Diet and exercise are two of the most popular ways. But, do you know there is an alternative way to do it? Here in this article, we will tell you just that. Namely, cupping therapy that will lose your weight easily and safely.

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