There are different kinds of cupping therapy. Here we will be talking about moving cupping and tonifying cupping. At Soaring Dragon Massage we use glass, silicon and/or plastic vacuum cups.
Cupping is a very effective but under-utilized healing technique. It promotes detoxification, invigorates qi and blood, clears wind/damp/cold/heat stagnation in local skin and muscle tissue, regulates various aspects of the autonomic nervous system…and most clients enjoy the experience of tension melting away under warm cups!Cupping will leave reddish or purple marks on the skin due to the blood and lymph being drawn to the surface. Depending on the patients’ condition the marks will last from 1-2 days up to a week.


  • Promotes deep relaxation of muscles and fascia
  • Stimulates whole-system system relaxation response
  • Helps reduce pain and inflammation
  • Regulates peristalsis and relieves intestinal spasms
  • Regulates vaso-dilation/constriction of blood vessels throughout the body
  • Encourages the proper circulation, oxygenation, and detoxification of blood
  • Detoxifies metabolic residue in muscle tissue, fascia, and skin by bringing toxins up into the circulatory system to be cleansed and safely excreted.
Sliding cups are very well tolerated (and usually enjoyed) since the movement along long muscles of the back (quadratus lumborum, paraspinals) or muscle groups associated with movement of arms (trapezius, rhomboids, deltoids, lats)  feels like deep massage. The warmth and suction of the cups helps instantly relax muscles as blood is perfused through tissue, fascia and tendons. A light layer of massage oil is applied to the skin and the therapist applies long, continuous movement of the cups over tensed areas. Focused repeat passes over more congested areas will become brighter or more intensely colored than other nearby tissue. If there is deep stagnation in the tissue, granules of “sha” (sand-like, crystallized metabolites that have deposited like silt in tissue) will come up through the tissue to the superficial skin layer to be released through the circulatory system. This is a positive sign of an effective detoxification response by the body — and it is usually much better tolerated than a classical guasha treatment.