Cupping Massage Therapy Steps

Cupping Massage Therapy Steps

Step 1: Employ proper body mechanics.

  • Ensure that body positioning remains neutral with stacking the body, slight lunge and neutral wrists. Adjust environment ergonomics for the intended service. 


Step 2: Palpate body to identify areas of concern.

  • Palpate with light to moderate pressure using sensitive fingertips. Light lubricant applied to the area provides a clearer feel for tissue and fiber configurations. 
  • Note: Healthy tissue is fairly smooth, firm, and compact. Compromised tissue or area of pain may be uncomfortable with deep palpation; tissue feels bound up, spider-like webbing, small knots, thickening, tightness, or adhesion. Muscular adhesion and tightness may indicate fluid stagnation.
  • Palpate area and compare to non-affected area.
  • Practice palpating for 5 minutes.

Step 3: choose proper hand position.

  • Goal Post Hand Position
  • L-Shaped Hand Position
  • One-handed Over the Top Hand Position
  • Thumb-Fingers Squeeze Hand Position
  • Triangle Hand Position
  • Two-Handed Thumb-Fingers Squeeze Hand Position

Step 4: Determine cup suction pressure.

Pressure level of the cup is determined by the amount of skin forced into the cup, age, and health condition.

  • Weak Cupping – gentle suction for relaxation and to improve blood flow; which promotes healing by the increase in circulation. Recommended for warming up tissue and for sensitive or loose skin to avoid irritation. A weak suction pressure provides a soothing, relaxing and tension. 
  • Medium Cupping – firm suction for stress reduction and injuries which may cause markings with parking technique.
  • Strong Cupping – strong suction for detoxification and chronic musculoskeletal conditions which may cause dark markings with parking technique. A strong suction pressure provides stimulation and desensitization. 
  • Pause and practice each suction pressure level on arm to experience the different levels for 5 minutes.


Step 5: Determine cup glide speed.

  • Slower movements drain fluids and stimulate lymphatic flow. 
  • Faster movements stimulate circulation, collagen, and elastin.


Step 6: Disinfect cups using standard precautions.

  • Cleanse silicone and plastic cups with antibacterial soap and water.
  • Air dry; do not place in autoclave or hot towel cabbie.



Professional Tips

  • The suction pressure to the skin surface may cause slight discomfort to the client, raise the skin with the cup to increase blood flow which will create more comfort to the client. 
  • The oil within the cup may change colors from clear to milky white, gray, and black which indicates toxins being released from the body.