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What you need to know about cupping marks

Many people are curious about the marks left by cupping and may even misinterpret them as bruises. At Body Balance we do therapeutic massage in American fork and cupping is one of the modalities that we use to create a healing and therapeutic effect in the body. The marks left by cupping are a sign of the therapeutic benefit that the cupping is having on the body. They go by many names in different cultures such as “marks” in Chinese culture or “rings” in Greece, in the United States they are sometimes referred to as “cupping kisses” but they more commonly are referred to as simply cupping marks.

While bruises are typically the result of blunt trauma to an area of the body resulting in damage to blood vessels underneath the skin cupping marks, on the other hand, are the result of a healing stimulus to the body and are completely different in several ways. Bruises have NONE of the healing benefits that cupping offers.

First and foremost, I would like to mention the great healing benefits that you can receive through cupping treatment that are an amazing addition to therapeutic massage treatment.

One of the benefits of cupping is its help in speeding recovery. Traditionally it has been used to aid the body in getting rid of pathogens or stagnation that may be stuck in the tissue of the body. By pulling the harmful pathogens or stagnation to the surface it stimulates healing and allows the body to deal with the problem more effectively.

The benefit to the body can be changed dramatically depending on how the cupping therapist applies the cups to the body. A very light repeated application of the cups can help to restore tone and strength to an area that has a lack of strength while a much stronger application of the cups for a period of 10 minutes can deeply penetrate into muscles that are very tight and restrictive. By applying both techniques greater balance is restored to the body.

By lightly applying the cups to the body and then moving the cups around the cupping therapist is able to work through tight muscles and knots and leave you feeling more open and relaxed.


Is cupping treatment painful?

Because of the appearance of the cupping marks some people are worried that the cupping marks are the result of a painful procedure. In reality, cupping treatment is quite gentle and is rarely painful at all. In fact, depending on how the cups are applied the therapist can create a very relaxing massage. The marks left by the cups are a indication that the treatment had a certain healing benefit to the body.

So what are the cupping marks and what do they mean?

As anyone who has had cupping before can tell you the marks left by the cups can have many different shades and patterns and all indicate different characteristics about the area cupped. I’ll mention a couple of the most common that you may see when you receive cupping treatment.

Marks that are black, deep purple or blue indicate blood stagnation in the area. This means that an injury or illness has resided in the area for a long time and the body has yet to full clear the stagnation. Cupping will allow the body to deal with the stagnation more effectively and promote health to the area.

A pale or white mark indicates that an area has a lack of function and probably isn’t performing properly. Using cupping techniques, a therapist can help restore better function to the area.

Cupping that leaves a bright fresh red color indicate a recent injury the area. Cupping will help the recent injury to heal fully.

This has been a very brief overview of cupping, but I hope it has helped give you some insight into why cupping marks are NOT bruises and how beneficial cupping treatment can be in helping you to heal and reduce pain. If you would like to take advantage of these benefits come down and book a therapeutic massage in American fork and add cupping as an upgrade. Our therapists will be happy to introduce to you cupping therapy.

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