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madison cupping massage

Cupping Aftercare: What to do after cupping and what to avoid

Cupping is a traditional treatment that is safe, comfortable, and effective for many health disorders. The gentle suction that cupping creates loosens and lifts connective tissues, which increases blood and lymph flow to your skin and muscles. The right cupping aftercare is important to get the maximum benefits from cupping. It’s important that you follow these guidelines.

What to do after cupping or a cupping massage:

  1. Drink a lot of water.
    Water helps flush your lymphatic system of the cellular waste that cupping helps release from your tissues. 
  2. Stay warm.
    Try to cover the area(s) where you received cupping.
  3. Rest.
    You may feel more tired than normal or experience flu-like symptoms after cupping (headache or general body aches). This is a temporary reaction by your immune system to the cellular waste that cupping helps release.

Schedule your next cupping appointment in downtown Madison with a certified, licensed practitioner.


What to avoid after cupping or a cupping massage:

For 4-6 hours post cupping, avoid exposure to:

  1. Caffeine, alcohol, sugary foods and drinks, dairy, and processed meats
    These foods slow down your body’s ability to process the treatment.
  2. Hot showers, saunas, hot tubs and strong air conditioning
    After cupping, your skin will be more sensitive to temperature in the areas where the cups were placed. Give your skin time to recover. If possible, shower with filtered water to avoid reintroducing unnecessary chemicals onto your skin.
  3. Intense exercise
  4. Cold and windy conditions.

How to prepare for cupping or cupping massage:

  1. Hydrate. Water is essential for your health, especially for your lymphatic system. Cupping supports your lymphatic system. Your lymphatic system clears away cellular waste from your body and it needs plenty of water to do this effectively.
  2. Eat an hour or so before your appointment.
  3. Don’t shave the area within four hours of your appointment. Your therapist really doesn’t mind stubble and your skin will thank you.
  4. Recover from sunburn. When you receive cupping, it will feel like that area is warmer than normal. Neither the cup nor the extra heat will feel good on sunburned skin. Apply some soothing aloe and wait until your skin has recovered before your next cupping appointment.
  5. Don’t exfoliate aggressively. Exfoliating removes a layer of dead skin, which makes your skin extra sensitive. Wait a couple days after aggressive exfoliation treatment before receiving cupping.

How to make the cupping marks go away faster:

After cupping, your skin will have circular marks ranging in color from pink to deep red or purple. People may joke that you look like you were in a fight with an octopus. Wear those badges proudly! You’re doing something great for your body.

Discolorations from cupping will fade. Some may fade after a few hours while others take up to two weeks to disappear completely. The discolorations are related to your body’s health at the time of cupping.

If you’d like those marks to go away faster, do two things: hydrate and rest.

Everyone’s body responds differently to cupping, even when following these cupping aftercare guidelines. If you have any questions either before or after a cupping appointment, please call us to speak with a licensed therapist.

Resolution Health Collaborative in Madison, WI
(608) 443-7048

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