Book an Appointment


What Do the Colours of Cupping Marks Tell You About Your Body?

Cupping, TCM Treatments & Theory

By Sin Kang TCM

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.


    Interested to try our TCM services?

    Book an appointment today!


    Authored by Physician Guo Yuan


    About the author

    Sin Kang TCM

    Contact us for Enquries 联络我们

    Sin Kang TCM was established in 1999 in the heart of Singapore's business district and won the Top 25 Prestige Award in 2014 and awarded the Singapore 500 SME Company prestige commercial status in 2021.

    For over 20 years, Sin Kang TCM Clinic has been providing a holistic and comprehensive range of treatments for our patients to improve their quality of life through affordable healthcare, based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) wisdom and modern medical advances. Some of our treatments include signature NO-PAIN Acupuncture™, Tui Na, Cupping, Gua Sha and many more.

    In 2017, we expanded our health renewal journey by curating quality products to bring you the best of TCM right to your doorstep.

    When you're looking for quality affordable products, we hope that we'll continue to be the place you think of. Thank you for dropping by, and do drop us any feedback so that we can bring you better healthcare products!

    Sin Kang TCM 于 1999 年在新加坡商业区的心脏地带成立,并于 2014 年荣获 Top 25 Prestige Award,并于 2021 年荣获新加坡 500 SME Company 声望商业地位。

    20多年来,新康中医诊所以中医智慧和现代医学进步为基础,通过负担得起的医疗保健,为我们的患者提供全面和全面的治疗,以提高他们的生活质量。 我们的一些治疗包括标志性的无痛针灸™、推拿、拔罐、刮痧等等。

    2017 年,我们通过精选优质产品扩展了我们的健康更新之旅,将最好的中医带到您家门口。

    当您正在寻找特别且价格合理的东西时,我们希望我们将继续成为您想到的地方。 感谢您的光临,并为我们提供任何反馈,以便我们为您带来更好的保健产品!