Cupping therapy

Cupping therapy at home is an affordable way to tap into this form of alternative medicine treating conditions ranging from chronic pain to respiratory conditions. Although you can do it yourself at home, we recommend using a friend. Here are 14 steps to doing cupping at home.

man after cupping treatment
Identify the area you want to treat

Where you place cups on the body has a lot of significance. Depending on where you wish to treat, there are specific regions cups should go. Back, stomach, arms, legs, and similarly fleshy areas are ideal for cupping.

Clean the skin

After you know where your cups are going, the next step is to clean the skin. Wash the site with soap and water, and then dry with a clean towel.

Apply oil to the skin

A small amount of cream or oil rubbed into the skin as thoroughly as possible can help reduce irritation and make it easier to move or reposition the cups as needed during treatment.

Prepare your cups

You want to ensure your cups are sterilized and clean. Silicone cupping sets should be cleaned as well as if you’re using plastic, bamboo, iron, pottery, or some other material.

Soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol

Grab a cotton ball with medical tweezers and dip it in rubbing alcohol to soak it. This step is predominantly for those using glass cupping sets. As you’ll find, this helps to create suction.

Light the cotton on fire

Be careful with this step. Hold it steady with tweezers. Keep all flammable materials away and ensure the bottle of rubbing alcohol has been closed. Keep the flame controlled throughout this process.

Place the flaming cotton into the cup

Keep your hot cotton in the cup for up to five seconds until the glass feels warm. Don’t let it become too hot. Ideally, you want it warm to the touch yet still cool enough to handle with bare hands.

Apply the cup to the skin

Do this quickly. As soon as you remove the burning cotton, invert the glass and place it on the treatment area. As it cools, the space inside the cup transforms into a vacuum. Suctioning will stimulate the pores and increase blood flow.

Repeat as needed

Work with one glass at a time and repeat until all glasses have been placed on the body. For areas with bony joints, smaller cups are recommended as opposed to broader areas which can handle larger glasses.

Put out the fire

Any lit cotton should be dropped into a fire-resistant container and covered with a lid. This will smother and extinguish the flame.

Leave the cups in place

For five to ten minutes, keep the cups on the skin. The skin underneath should turn from red to purple. Then, remove the cups by lifting them off with the hands. Do not keep the cups on for longer than fifteen minutes.

Expect bruising

After your cupping therapy treatment is done, you can expect some minor bruising and marks. Cupping marks should be relatively painless and will begin to disappear within a few days to a week.

Treat blisters

If cupping blisters have formed – it’s rare but it happens – treat these by pricking, draining, and disinfecting them.

Use sparingly

Too much cupping is bad for your health so be sure to stick to the time limits and to not repeat cupping for longer than 10 consecutive days.

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