Welcome to Millwoods Acupuncture Centre

Millwoods Acupuncture Center
102, 2603 Hewes Way
Edmonton AB,   Canada

Phone: (780) 466-8683



Check your health with suction cupping


  Suction cupping is a common therapy in the Traditional Chinese Medicine. You can do it by yourself too. If you have little experience in the use of suction cup, you may know that the skin color may change after cupping. Sometimes it turns dark, and for others, it may turn red. The color change on the skin after cupping also helps to tell the nature and the location of the illness. For normal and healthy person, the skin color does not change at all after the cupping.

The location of the skin color change:

If you see a color change on the skin after cupping, it generally means that there is something wrong on that location. For example, if you see the color change on shoulder, you must have some trouble on the shoulder. Sometimes, one may not feel anything wrong on that spot, but it still suggests a trouble that has already hidden there. It will bother you soon or later.

Since you can use the suction cupping almost anywhere on the body surface, except the area where there is big blood vessels pass, such as in groin, you can check where you may have trouble on the body.

Commonly countered skin changes after suction cupping are:

(1). Dark red or dark black: it suggests that there is Cold Xie-qi. Xie-qi means disease-causing stuff, factor, or things, whatever, in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It may be micro-organs, such as bacteria or virus, or simply physical condition changes, such as temperature, air pressure, humidity; or chemicals, such smell, odor, vapor, heavy metal toxic… Pain due to Cold Xie-qi feels as cold, tightness. Warm makes it feel better or released. Usually after suction, the skin also feels cold. The extent of the dark color and the cold represents the severity of the illness.

Fig. 1a. Color change after cupping.
  Cupping mark 1b
Fig. 1b. Color change after cupping.


(2). Fresh red color: it suggests a Fire Xie-qi in local. As fire burning, pain due to Fire Xie-qi feels as burning. One likes to use cold patch to release the pain. Many acute inflammations belong to such Fire.

(3). Blisters. Sometimes there could be lots of small or bigger water blisters on the skin (Fig. 3a). It may happen very fast as several minutes. Such blister means there is water, or Wet Xie-qi accumulated on that spot. Blister may also happen on skin of normal person, but it usually need longer time suction, such as more than 20 or 30 minutes. The wet Xie-qi on the body makes one feel heavy and tight on the spot. If the suction cupping follows tapping with flower needle, there will be water drops on the skin, instead of a blister. (Fig. 3b). Usually people who have such water drops after suction cupping will feel much energized after treatment. It is one of our common ways to booster energy.


 Fig. 2. Water drops after suction cupping.  
 Fig. 3. Water drops after suction cupping.

Very often, after initial suction cupping for several times, the color becomes light and then no change. Continue the suction, there may have dark color again. This means that the continuous suction move the deeper Xie-qi on the surface of the skin now. You don’t need to be disappointed, it is good to you.