What does the cupping marks mean?
Cupping is a therapy used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to remove blockages and stimulate the flow of qi. Cupping can be used to treat sore backs, calm swelling, and eliminate “dampness” and toxins, even fatigue. Overall, cupping helps to balance the yin and yang in our body, strengthen our immunity, and treat diseases.
Cupping Marks’ Type and Colour Explained:
source credit Dr. Tamer Shaban
What do the different cupping mark colors mean?
Dark purple-black marks: Lack of blood, heavy stagnation
Purple with small dark spots within the cupping mark: “Cold” Blood stasis, overconsumption of cold food. Wear more clothes in air-conditioned rooms.
Consistent purple spots: Blood stasis due to agitation and hot temperament
Bright red: Yin-deficiency, lack of moisture. Drink more water and consume more vegetables.
Dark red: High blood cholesterol, pathogenic heat (“heat evils”)
Who Is Cupping Suitable for?
Most people can benefit from cupping, with the exception of those who are physically weak or have particular illnesses, such as:
Skin that is inflamed or irritated
Convulsions or a high temperature
Easily bleed (on blood thinners such as warfarin)
Women who are pregnant (stomach, lower back, and specific points must be avoided)
What should you not do during cupping?
The duration of each cupping session is usually 10-15 mins. If small blisters appear due to prolonged duration of cupping, simply disinfect and bandage to prevent them from bursting. If the blisters are big, use sterilized needles to let the water out and apply gentian violet solution. If you overeat, are too fatigued or too thirsty, please do not undergo cupping. Body parts that have sensitive skin, ulcers, edema, and large vessels are not suitable for cupping.
When Will the Scars Disappear?
Depending on the skin’s regenerating ability, these innocuous marks will decrease over time before totally disappearing after about a week. You will notice that the marks become lighter and lighter as you have regular cupping treatments.
Fade in a few minutes to an hour. Light pink: Fade in a few minutes to an hour.
Dark red: fades in three to seven days (up to 2 weeks if it is an old injury)
Please inform your TCM physicians ahead of time if you do not want markings in particular regions.
Is there a limit to how many times I can do it? Are there any negative consequences?
It is suggested that you perform this 1-2 times a week. Our doctors will determine whether more treatments are necessary based on the severity of the marks. Cupping is generally safe and has no negative side effects. However, some people may experience dizziness, have sensitive skin around the treatment region, or develop tiny blisters in rare situations.
Authored by Physician Guo Yuan