Is Cupping Safe?

December 21st, 2020

At DrivenFit + SWS, we pride ourselves on offering the best treatments to promote rejuvenation and restoration – one of which is cupping. While not as common as acupuncture, cupping is similar in that it is an ancient form of Chinese medicine. 

Cupping is believed to balance yin and yang (sound familiar?) within the body to facilitate the flow of “qi” – the vital energy or life force believed to regulate your spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical health. 

Sounds great, but is it safe? YES, but with a few exceptions. Our resident health & fitness expert, Dr. Sarah Sponaugle, explains…


Totally Takeaways

+Cupping is a safe treatment similar to acupuncture and is both forms of ancient Chinese medicine focused on balancing Yin and Yang. 

+This therapy increases blood flow and loosens the fascia or connective tissue to promote healing.

+Why the red marks? Cupping treatment involves heated glass cups at the site of pain. As the air inside the cup cools and creates a vacuum that draws the skin and muscle upward into the cup. Leaving the temporary circle marks. 

+Cupping doesn’t always use heat. Rubber pumps can be used to create the same suction. The mild cup marks will be there either way for a few days, but the pain won’t be!


Benefits of Cupping  

Cupping therapy increases blood flow and loosens the fascia or connective tissue to promote healing. It is also known to: 

  • Relieve pain 
  • Remove toxins
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Improve overall health and well-being
  • Promote relaxation 
  • Treat conditions such as shingles, facial paralysis, acne, lumbar disc herniation, cervical spondylosis

Interested in scheduling an appointment for cupping therapy? Call or text Team Driven at 813-440-3016


What to Expect During a Cupping Treatment

A cupping treatment involves heating glass cups and placing them on the skin – most commonly on the back, neck, and shoulders, or the specific site of pain. The cup is heated with fire using alcohol, herbs, or paper that is placed directly into the cup. The heated cup is placed with the open side directly on the skin. 

As the air inside the cup cools and creates a vacuum that draws the skin and muscle upward into the cup. As a result, your skin may turn red as the blood vessels respond to the change in pressure. 

Not comfortable with heated cupping? No problem! We also use rubber pumps to create suction versus traditional heating methods. To prevent infection, ointment and bandages may be applied to the cupped areas on the skin. You may experience mild bruising which goes away within 10 days of the treatment. 

Dr. Sarah has years of experience practicing cupping therapy, commonly used as an effective form of healing and reducing pain. 


Cupping Safety

At Driven Fit + SWS, we are big fans of cupping as a form of healing. In general, it is very safe, however, we recognize that extra caution should be taken for certain groups, including:


  • Individuals who have a sunburn, wound, skin ulcer, or internal organ disorders
  • Pregnant or menstruating women
  • Individuals who use blood-thinning medication
  • Seniors – With age, the skin becomes more fragile. Therefore, cupping is not a good idea for seniors. 
  • Children – Cupping isn’t meant for kids. Children under the age of four should not receive cupping therapy, and older children should only be treated periodically. 


Although rare, certain side effects may occur such as dizziness, nausea, pain or irritation at the cupping site, scarring, or infection (most commonly caused by unsanitary conditions). At Driven Fit + SWS, Dr. Sarah Sponaugle is certified in cupping therapy and wears disposable gloves, goggles, and a mask for you to heal safely. Also, the equipment is sanitized before and after each use. 


Cupping Treatments at Driven Fit + SWS

To make sure you are a candidate for cupping therapy, we suggest talking to your doctor or scheduling a consultation with Dr. Sponaugle. Try cupping therapy today, to schedule a consultation, call or text our South Tampa studio gym at 813-440-3016.

Categories: LifestyleRejuvenation

Join Our Newsletter

Stay up to date on our specials, promotions, events & more!