top of page
  • Writer's pictureBig Sun Massage and Bodywork

Is Cupping Therapy Dangerous?

What is Cupping Therapy?

Cupping is a method of manual therapy which creates suction over a small area of the skin. This suction pulls blood to the surface of the skin, in some cases, breaking the small capillaries at the surface of the skin and occasionally leaving a mark like a welt or a bruise. This is referred to as “stagnation” in Chinese Medicine: an indication that the blood moved via suction was having trouble flowing through the natural circulation process.

Cupping is a technique taught under the umbrella of Acupuncture and Acupressure but does not fall under specific regulation as these other modalities do. This means that anyone can offer cupping therapy, regardless of their knowledge or experience level. Without proper training, it is possible that a novice could create damage to skin or disrupt the flow of Qi (the body’s energy) in a counter-productive way for your health. Just like the veins in your body, the meridians have a direction of flow, a relationship to one another, and to overall health.

The Benefits of Cupping Therapy

Therapists all over are choosing to offer it as an add-on service to massage, chiropractic and other treatment modalities. The potential problem is that traditional cupping methods are based on Chinese Medicine meridian therapy, and this form of education and knowledge requires years of study and training. Acupuncturists complete four years of masters-level training which includes cupping techniques and deeper understanding of the energetics related to this technique.

There are 12 main meridians in the human body, and up to 20 total meridians including the primary ones near the surface of the skin. On any meridian line, there could be dozens of points that have different impact on the subtle energetic field of the body. You could think of the meridians as the invisible “veins” of energy running through your whole body. These channels follow the muscle groups, and twist and turn around limbs and the torso.

Cupping has been shown beneficial in a variety of treatment cases, including reducing fever and varies pain complaints. For more about these benefits, check out this article:

Unfortunately, untrained therapists are operating under the assumption that cupping can be used as a strictly topical application. Claims that cupping can reduce cellulite via topical application highlights this use. While cupping can help break up binding and tension in the muscles, this is not the primary intention for this treatment modality. Practitioners untrained in Chinese Medicine theory may legally sell cupping as a service, but most do not understand the subtle energetics that this treatment modality is based upon. There is a level of risk involved with allowing someone with little knowledge to perform this service on you.

What’s the Answer?

When it comes to your health, it is in your best interest to seek out qualified professionals. At Big Sun, we use a unique method of cupping therapy which combines the Traditional Chinese Medicine approach with Sacred Geometry for maximum structural and energetic benefit to you. All our therapists have training in this unique approach, which you will not find anywhere else! Our therapists apprentice under our owner, Bryan Broussard, in this unique method which he developed over many years of experience in treatment on top of his extensive education on massage, physical mechanics and Asian Bodywork Therapy, certified by the AOBTA (

Call the clinic line 605-646-3848 or email us with any questions you may have, or to book a treatment. We also offering cupping as an add-on to your massage or bodywork appointment, so you can try it out!

16 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page