What You Need To Know About Facial Cupping

What exactly is facial cupping?

Cupping is a form of therapy that is considered an alternative that can be done throughout your body. Through the use of suction cups, your muscles and skin are stimulated. It increases blood circulation, relieves muscle tension, and cell repair is promoted. Some reports state that your qi's flow is improved. "Qi" is Chinese for life force.

Despite its many Chinese roots, several researchers state that the earliest picture records date from ancient Egypt.

Facial Cupping and Body Cupping, the same thing?

Although they share many benefits, namely skin restoration, the two are applied differently. The suction cups used for facial cupping are both softer and smaller. The skin is pulled away from the fascia, which is the skin's deeper layer. This is done in a gentle manner and results in increased blood flow and rejuvenated skin with no cupping marks left.

According to Ananda Emily Reese, LAc, of Reese Acupuncture, "This practice, over time, lessens deep lines and wrinkles, giving off the look of an improved complexion.". The end goal of body cupping is entirely different. Here, you are attempting to alleviate pains and aches. Not to mention, that cup marks are always left on the affected areas. It has been said that the non-permanent marks indicate the amount of cellular buildup and stagnation.

How does cupping work?

Blood is pulled towards the area that was affected by the cup, this is due to the cup's suction effect. The surrounding tissue is saturated with fresh blood and even new the formation of new blood vessels is promoted. Cupping causes inflammation that is sterile. This should definitely not raise any concerns as it is a pathogen-free trauma that results from the mechanical process of cupping.

Several different layers of tissue are separated through the suction process, while this does result in tears and even micro-trauma, the inflammation causes white blood cells and other healing processes to flood into the affected areas.

What are all the benefits?

Facial cupping brings with it many benefits including:

  • An increase in blood circulation that is oxygen-rich.
  • Tissue that is connective is strengthened.
  • Cells that are necessary for collagen production are stimulated.
  • Muscle tension is also reduced.

The practice results in:

  • Result in brighter skin.
  • Fine lines and scars and wrinkles see a reduction in visibility.
  • Decolletage of several areas.
  • Oil production is regulated.
  • Nutrient delivery is increased.

Can any bruising be expected?

You shouldn't worry about any bruising when facial cupping. Do be warned, that leaving a cup on any area for too long will result in some bruising. According to Reese, after five seconds, discoloration is to be expected. With this in mind, be sure to constantly move the cup.

What other side effects or risks can be expected?

Facial cupping is safe but the possibility of some minor side effects exists. These occur either during or after the treatment. Though these effects are temporary, you may experience dizziness, feeling lightheaded, nausea, and cold sweats. Through an email interview, Lana Farson LAc, who is a teacher at the Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine College, advised against facial cupping on any areas that are inflamed or have broken skin.

Can facial cupping be done at home?

Although at-home facial cupping kits exist, many find it more relaxing when leaving it in the hands of a professional. A professional will apply the proper technique. When engaging in this therapy at home, ask a practitioner who is experienced for guidance. Not only will they provide you with answers but recommendations as well.

Be warned, because of your inexperience, you will see some minor bruising and the desired effects will take longer to reveal themselves.

How to get started?

Many cupping kits exist on the market. Both the kits made with hard plastics and their soft, gel alternatives can be equally effective. The choice is yours but always follow the instructions provided.

Here are some common general guidelines:

  1. Gently pat your face dry after having washed it.
  2. Make sure to release preliminary tension through the use of facial massages.
  3. Face oils are optional but recommended. A light layer can reduce the possibility of bruising.
  4. Begin by applying a small cup around your mouth and chin.
  5. As you progress, constantly upgrade to bigger cups. Especially around the forehead.
  6. Repeat the process until all desired areas have been cupped.
  7. If you apply face oils, then gently wash your face and pat dry. If not, then reopen your pores with some hot water.
  8. Proceed with your regular beauty and skin routine. It is the optimal time to apply any other products because absorption is promoted with facial cupping.

To deal with any redness, C.J, a first-year acupuncture student, cups at night. The irritation will be gone by morning. She states, “Right after I shower, I start cupping. If I need more glide, I add face oil. Afterward, I just wash my cups.”. Use small cups for sensitive areas and large cups for everywhere else.

How to find a provider?

A Google search will provide you with local acupuncturists. Leading Chinese traditional medicine news outlet, Acupuncture Today, has an online dictionary of practitioners in the US. Cuppingtherapy.org hosts a directory of specialists in cupping. Be sure to set up a consultation and ask about your choice's credentials and experience.

What to expect?

A facial cupping-only session should last around ten minutes but when paired with other techniques, 3o minutes or more. Reese pairs cupping with other methods. She says, “If someone is coming to me for facial acupuncture, I also balance points on their hands and feet. Then a facial massage, then cupping, then needles.”.

One session a week for ten weeks and then once a month is recommended by Reese.


Facial cupping minimizes fine lines and wrinkles, decreases puffiness, and more. You can try facial cupping at home, but do consider reaching out to an experienced practitioner for your first session. Your questions will be answered and you will receive guidance for your skincare routine.

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