Cupping: Is the Headline Making Therapy Right for You?

Cupping is not new, but has seen a recent increase in popularity with celebrities ranging from Olympic swimmer, Michael Phelps, to Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, reportedly using the treatment.

In fact, cupping therapy is an ancient treatment used to stimulate healing and increase well-being. It is done by placing cups on the skin and creating a vacuum inside the cup. The vacuum draws tissue up into the cup for therapeutic effects. Treatment may increase blood flow to the area, loosen fascia and connective tissue, relax tight muscles, reduce inflammation, and aid in draining toxins.

During treatment, stagnant blood and waste products are drawn to the skin. This may cause skin discoloration ranging from a light pink to a dark purple, depending on the health of the tissue being treated. Some discoloration is normal and considered a part of the healing process, which can last anywhere from 3 days to a week. As the tissues become healthier with subsequent treatment, the amount of discoloration should lessen.

Cupping is safe and can be very relaxing when done by a trained professional, however some mild discomfort may be experienced. Cupping should not be done on areas where temporary discoloration of the skin is unwanted.

Cupping is not recommended for those who have:
– Bleeding disorders, bruise easily or on blood thinners
– Cardiac conditions
– Renal failure
– Severe edema
– Leukemia
– Fever
– Certain skin conditions
Women who are pregnant should avoid cupping to the abdomen, low back and inner thigh.


Cupping at the Wellness Institute is offered by select Registered Massage Therapists. To book, schedule a regular massage appointment with either Amanda or Andrea and ask about cupping when you discuss your treatment for the day. Call 204-632-3900, visit wellnessinstitute.ca, use our app or see front desk to book a massage appointment.

Note: All treatments offered by our Registered Massage Therapists are listed as massage therapy on the receipt and should be eligible for full or partial coverage with most insurance plans.