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Cupping Therapy For Cellulite – Beautiful Or Bogus?
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Cupping Therapy for Cellulite – Beautiful or Bogus?

Cupping, though it has been around for possibly 5,000 years, has become the rage of the stars across the globe. What is it? What is the basis for their claims? How is it done?What does it cost?What are the side effects? DOES IT WORK? What to people who have used this therapy say?

Let’s take a look.

What is it?

Cupping has been called a form of massage that uses suction rather than physical massage. Advocates say that this process causes the cellulite to go away. This conclusion is based on a false assumption, namely that toxins cause cellulite.

A little background

There are two systems in the body responsible for getting nourishment to the cells and toxins and debris away from the cells.First is the blood system, and second is the lymphatic system.

The job of blood is to deliver oxygen, food and other essential substances to all the body’s cells, while also picking up carbon dioxide and other wastes to be sent to the organs of elimination, mainly the liver.

It is the liver’s job to insure that blood is cleaned of anything toxic . Without this cleaning, the entire system is affected. The liver and kidneys are not completely cleansing the blood due to an overload of toxins, the blood will look towards the skin as a means of toxin elimination. The skin is the largest organ in the body. When the blood attempts to “push” toxins out through the skin, it can cause rashes and other skin problems. This may be the reason that so many people conclude that cellulite is caused by these toxins.

The lymphatic system is the body’s garbage collector and is composed of a delicate network of lymphatic vessels all over the body that, with muscle movement, pumps lymph around the body. The lymph system reclaims digested fats and proteins, the body’s source of energy, and adds them to the body’s blood circulation.

Where the blood depends on the pumping of the heart, it is muscle movement that moves lymph throughout its vessels. Without this movement the lymph becomes toxic. This overload can cause problems. This is the reason that being sedentary can increase the toxicity in our system.

In terms of treating cellulite, the assumption that these toxins ‘create cellulite’ is predominant in the thinking of those that use or advise the use of any therapy to get rid of the appearance of cellulite. However, there is no evidence that supports the assumption that these toxins create cellulite.

So What is the Cupping Process?

There are different kinds of cupping, but each of them relies on creating suction against the skin.The oldest type is Chinese cupping.

The original Chinese Cupping Therapy uses cups within which a vacuum is created then placed on the body. The vacuum pulls the muscle tissue into the cup and draws stagnant blood and toxins from deep within the tissue to the surface. The body, through the lymph system, removes the toxins and stagnation. There are two types: dry and wet.

The vacuum within the cup is created when a flammable substance such is placed in a cup and set on fire. The fire is put out. A mild suction is created using a cup that is left in place for 5 to 10 minutes. Skin rises into the cup and reddens as blood vessels expand.

During wet cupping, a mild suction is created using a cup that is left in place for a few minutes. The cup is removed and a small scalpel or other tool is used to small skin incisions. The cup is heated again and replaced to draws out a small quantity of blood. The incision site may be covered with an antibiotic and bandage. I have not seen that is done in the USA.

A more modern version of cupping uses a rubber pump to create the vacuum inside the cup. There are also silicon cups that are used and these are available for home use. These are pliable enough to be moved from place to place on the skin and produce a massage-like effect.

What are the Side Effects

The side effects of dry cupping include swelling, redness or other discoloration, and sometimes bruising. The patient is comfortable during the procedure.There are risks to those with cancer, thrombosis, open lesions on their skin, and varicose veins.One risk that has not been discussed enough is the possibility of undiagnosed cancer being spread more rapidly, as cancer usually metastasizes via the lymphatic system.

What does it Cost?

Average costs are: 60 min - $95; 90 min - $135.

Does Cupping Work?

Like many alternative treatments, cupping has not been extensively studied. Researchers agree that cupping therapy studies have not demonstrated effectiveness and more research is needed.

What do people say about their own experience with cupping?

Most people that use dry cupping actually enjoy the sessions.However, the side effects of red marks, swelling and sometimes bruising often alarms many, and they give up the process after 1 or 2 sessions.For those that continue, they say that these go away.Some say they see improvement in their Cellulite, while others state that this is another process that is expensive but with temporary results.

Many movie and stage stars now wear their red circles and bruises like a red badge of honor.

Only time will tell if this is a fad.


For me, I do not see the benefit of an unproven therapy. Just because something has been used for years and years does not mean that it is a valid option ... at least not for cellulite. Because the proponents base their promises of success on the premise that toxins cause cellulite, a premise that is patently false, I am staying away.

So, to me, this is another wallet drainer.

Street Talk

I did not know what cellulite is until reading this article. Thanks for the info on your site.

  about 8 years ago
Sherry B.  

Wow, people sure do some crazy things to try to look perfect! I think I'd rather pass on this sort of therapy, lol. I'm pretty good at giving myself bruises accidentally as it is, I sure don't need something that will give me more of them. :)

  about 9 years ago

Now that movie starts are using this and showing up with there cupping marks a fancy events, people are going gaga of it. You are right, people do crazy things.

  about 9 years ago

Great Information. Truly didn't know this much about cupping. Thanks. But after reading your article i would simply not recommend cupping. Personally i think ts very harmful.

  about 9 years ago

I agree. I have not found anything that indicates that is causes any permanent harm though. I think it just turns out to be a real time and money waster. Maybe if we lived in a third world country where we did not have much access to medical facilites or doctors, the process would have died long ago. It is used in many places still for more than just beauty benefits. In China, they still do the wet cupping. That just give me the creeps. Bloodletting was stopped many years ago here and for good reason. Can you imagine what diseases and infections could come from this? Thanks for your comment.

  about 9 years ago

I have never heard of this. I learned something new today! Good job!

  about 9 years ago

I found so many pictures of the kind of bruising that this causes. People are nuts for doing this, I swear!

  about 9 years ago
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