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Muscle Lab Pasadena



Cupping therapy is the practice of applying suction to the body to promote optimal recovery and maintain high performance levels. It originates from traditional Chinese medicine that uses glass or plastic cups to create inverted pressure and suction that pulls the treated tissue and skin in order to bring blood to the surface and expel negative energies from the body. It is typically seen performed on larger muscle groups that tend to undergo hyperactivation or over use, but it can be used on any part of the body.



Because cupping causes an influx of blood to the treated area, it creates a healthy blood circulation that allows the body to speed up its healing process. Blood is drawn to targeted areas of the body to promote toxin removal and fluid build up. This blood movement can ease sore and fatigued muscles for a quicker recovery time. It is also known to help treat varicose veins as new blood vessels are created.


Clients who complain of chronic pain have been known to see dramatic relief and increased range of motion with cupping therapy. Cupping is effective in managing arthritis, fibromyalgia, and pain from physical activity.


The body naturally holds stress and tension within the joints and muscles. Cupping is the optimal way to lower stress levels and tension that have accumulated in the body over time. Often, tension in the upper body and neck can lead to headaches and migraines, therefore it is best to treat the area before it becomes problematic. The effects of cupping have been known to cause a general sense of relaxation and aids in managing anxiety and depression.


Cupping is an effective way to manipulate soft tissue and loosen muscles. Treating the body’s underlying muscle tissues can contribute to increased flexibility and better posture. Maintaining proper posture allows for a better sense of mobility and prepares the body for movement and peak performance. It is recommended to incorporate cupping therapy as a preventative measure and to decrease the risk of injury.


Due to the ability to create separation within the skin, tissues, and muscles, cupping therapy has been known to also help reduce the appearance of cellulite. The suction technique allows cellulite (the dimpled fat just beneath the skin) to break up. The theory is that cupping promotes draining of accumulated fluids, toxins, and other chemical compounds from interstitial fluid to blood and lymphatic capillaries, especially the lipids in cellulite.


According to chinese medicine, the ancient practice of cupping has been known for its ability to affect the body’s “qi” or natural energy flow. It allows improvements in the flow of energy and is thought to expel negative elements. Cups can be placed over traditional energy collection points on the body to improve physical function and mental well-being.

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FAQ About Cupping Therapy

What is the difference between fire cupping and vacuum cupping?

Fire cupping often involves using glass cups and applying heat from a fire source to remove oxygen and create a suction. It is a more advanced technique that requires a quick transfer of the heated glass cups to the body.

Vacuum cupping is less invasive and offers more control in the amount of suction being applied. Typically, a pump is attached to plastic cups that draws air out and creates a suction.

Both are efficient in providing benefits, however vacuum cupping is known to be potentially less dangerous.

What is wet cupping?

Wet cupping is when the skin is pierced with a small needle before the cups are applied to allow the “toxic” blood to be pulled out of the body when suctioned. It is a typical chinese practice that removes negative energy from the body, however due to its lack of studied evidence, this technique is not practiced at Muscle Lab.

Do you just leave the cups on? What other methods are there?

“Fixed” cupping is when the cups are left in place on the body for a few minutes until the skin begins to show signs of blood nearing the surface. “Moving” cupping is when the cups are applied with a lotion, massage oil, or lubricant and the cups are moved along the muscle belly to promote benefits to the entire treatment area.

Does CUPPING hurt?

The process of cupping should not be painful. The client will experience a pulling feeling in the area while the cups are on which may cause a slight discomfort but will later experience a release of tension as the cups are removed.

What do the dark marks AFTER CUPPING mean?

The dark spots or “bruises” are areas where the cups were applied. They are caused by the pull of healthy blood to the area and typically last anywhere from a week to 10 days after treatment.

Will I be limited from activity after receiving cupping?

No! There is no downtime after being treated with cupping therapy. It is a non-invasive treatment that promotes soft tissue mobilization, therefore in order to maximize the results, it is important to continue stretching and maintaining mobility.

How often is cupping recommended?

Cupping treatments can be regularly repeated up to 3 times per week, however it is recommended to allow the treatment area to heal from the marks or bruises before it is applied again in order to not aggravate the tissue or cause further damage.