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Cupping Therapy treatment in London

Looking for Cupping Therapy near me in London?

What is Cupping Therapy?

You may be asking “How does cupping therapy work?” Well, cupping therapy comes from the traditional Chinese medicine practice and was reported as early as ancient Egyption times and is now widely used by many manual therapists. In ancient times and still to this day it is used in Chinese medicine to influence Qui – the flow of energy in the body. The ancient practice used animal horns instead of the cups we use in modern practice. The practice spread throughout the world slowly and is now seen to be a popular treatment among athletes, celebrities and people looking to try something different. Cupping involves either heat or suction in order to create a vacuum over an area of the body. There are a variety of ways one can receive cupping, including wet cupping, mobile or massage cupping, static cupping and inhibition cupping. All of these methods have similar aims and are used in conjunction with other methods of manual therapy.


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Types of cupping

  • Mobile cupping: A method where a lighter vacuum is created with the cup to allow easy glide of the cup to provide a massage feel. This is commonly used when regular massage may not be providing the desired effects or the patient is looking to try an alternative to regular massage.
  • Static cupping: A practitioner finds points of tension where a cup is placed creating a tight vacuum around the skin. The cups are left over that area which draws fluid and blood to the region aiming to promote blood flow to the region and reduce tension.
  • Inhibition cupping: Similar to static cupping a tight vacuum is created around an area however, an extra piece is added which places a downward pressure into the muscle or structure. This is more commonly used for muscle trigger points.
  • Wet cupping: This variation involves puncturing the skin where the cup will be placed before creating the vacuum. This draws blood from the area. This technique is not used at BodyTonic Clinic.

When To Get Cupping

As cupping is used for various reasons including mindfulness, you can try cupping almost anytime you want. It is commonly used before or after major sporting events, to help with meditation or as an alternative therapy to more complex conditions under the guidance of healthcare practitioners. It can be used in association when treating common conditions and even generalised pain in particular areas. Due to the safe nature of cupping, many people with various conditions enjoy using this as another treatment to keep things different and progressing within the treatment room. Cupping can be used on most people but there are some conditions which can prevent you from getting this, so contact your BodyTonic healthcare practitioner to ask them if it is appropriate for you.

If you would like to discuss cupping therapy as part treatment please mention when speaking to one of the team or book online.

Where Do I Get Cupping?

Due to the relatively safe nature of cupping, many parts of the body can receive cupping. When being used to reduce muscle tension, the cups can be used throughout the legs and arms, along with the back which is most commonly seen in athletes such as swimmers. Cupping can even be used around the chest areas depending on particular personal health considerations. Our Osteopath Ben, has used cupping throughout the body including around the shoulder area for shoulder tip pain, the inner thigh for groin pain, the lower back for general back pain and the shins for ankle and foot pain. As you can see, there are many options of regions to get cupping. If you are unsure if you can get cupping in a particular area, speak to your BodyTonic practitioner and they can provide further advice.

Where Do I Get Cupping?

There are lots of theories about what cupping does but the main benefits are as follows.
Cupping aims to stimulate blood circulation to increase metabolism and accelerate the elimination of waste and toxins from the body. This effect acts to improve physical function and affect blood pressure. The believed effects have varying effectiveness based on each individual circumstance.

The benefits of cupping have short term benefits which enable the body to work with other therapies. Often patients opt in for the service to try something different or new when wanting different results. As each patient presents with different symptoms and factors, the results vary from patient to patient. However, the risks are minimal with the practice being generally safe. If you have any questions about the potential benefits for you individually, contact BodyTonic and chat with one of our practitioners to see what the benefits might be for you.

What are the risks?

Cupping is generally very safe to use. Cupping should not be applied to open wounds, patients with dermatological problems or that have sunburn.
Avoid cupping in the case of: Recent trauma and inflammation, during pregnancy, avoid cupping to the lower and upper abdomen and the lumbar region, patients that have bleeding disorders and are on anticoagulant therapy, high fever and exhaustion.

There are particular areas of sensitivity where a practitioner cannot apply cupping including the umbilicus (belly button), genital regions and the areola (nipple region).

What to expect before and after cupping therapy?

Before cupping, as it is part of your Osteopathy or Physiotherapy appointment, you will undertake a history taking along with a physical assessment by your practitioner. They will confirm whether cupping is a safe therapy for you to receive or not.

Depending on the area being cupped, you will be placed on the table with the area to be treated uncovered. An oil will be placed around the area to help provide a suction and reduce risk of irritation, the cups will be attached and using a suction lever or heat, the practitioner will build the suction within the cup until the desired pressure has been reached. They will then be either left in that area for a period of time or moved around (in the case of mobile cupping). After the appropriate period of time has elapsed, the pressure is released and the cup removed. The period of time the cups are left for depends on the reason for the cupping, the way the patient responds and the other therapies being used.

After the treatment, you may experience bruising around the area for up to 7 days, these are known as “cupping marks”. These should not be painful, if they are, please contact the clinic.

What causes cupping marks?
Cupping marks are caused by the blood being drawn closer to the surface. It is understood that where the marks are darker, there is more stagnant fluid. This can mean that the area had more toxins, lymph fluid or blood there which is what your practitioner was most likely addressing. The more often you undertake cupping as a treatment in that area, the less you will experience the darker marks.


  • Hydration: As there has been a lot of movement of toxins, lymph and stagnant fluids, to help your body eliminate unwanted excess, drink water. This helps flush out anything which may stagnate again.
  • Warmth: As there is significant flow of the lymphatic system, some people may experience some slight chills or fever-like symptoms. This can be due to the replicated effect of a cold when the immune system is working hard. Keep warm to allow your blood to flow and flush out any unwanted toxins.
  • Sleep: Fatigue is a common side effect which can be caused by the body activating the lymphatic system. Try avoiding any exercise or unnecessary strain for 24 hours after cupping. Rest is essential for your body, not only after cupping.
  • Protection: Try to keep the cupping marks covered from direct sunlight or extreme cold/hot temperatures. When receiving cupping, your pores are exposed and can allow for further absorption of UV and bacteria. Keeping the areas covered helps prevent risk of infection and other unwanted side effects.

Bringing It Together

So to answer the initial question “How does cupping therapy work?”. It is a technique used among others to promote healing within the body. It has a more holistic aligned approach, which appreciates the mindfulness necessary to recover and recuperate. This pairs nicely with the osteopathic approach which looks at the body as a whole. Each patient is living a unique experience, with a unique understanding of their body and injury or pain. Employing cupping as part of the therapy, embraces this, giving the patient a moment where they can be still, improve their blood flow, promote a healthy body and clear their mind.

One of the best parts of cupping is this is a patient-led experience. If you, as a patient, want just the physical benefits explained earlier, then that is exactly what you can ask for. In these situations, the practitioner may not leave the room or leave you in silence, conversation may continue as normal, body movements may be added to the static cupping, or treatment of another area where the cups are not places can be performed.

Cupping is a versatile and useful tool which can aid those who are wanting to explore new treatment options.

Why Bodytonic Clinic?

✓ Award-winning clinic based in central London
✓ Highly professional and fully qualified practitioners
✓ FREE consultation appointment
✓ Here to listen to your needs and provide suitable therapies to help
✓ Simple booking system via phone, online or our app

Cupping with Deep Tissue Massage Prices

Click here for Terms and Conditions. 10% discount not available on OsteopathyMSK Physiotherapy, Chiropractic, Foot health, Laser Hair RemovalShockwave Therapy or medical treatments.

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