The mystical world of fire cupping

Monday night I experienced a rather “unique” event.

You know what you’ve seen in those Asian movies where a guru or medicine man will pull out a cotton ball, soak it in alcohol, light it on fire then rub it inside a small glass jar and suction it to someone’s back?

That’s a real therapy. A real therapy that has been practiced for hundreds of years.

Before Monday night, I had only heard about fire cupping and had never put much thought into it. It always sounded kind of like rubbish.

I am here to tell you- IT’S NOT! And it actually does work.

Just in case you’re wondering, here’s the definition of fire cupping: “A fire cup is simply a cup held upside down and the air inside of it heated. Once the air is hot the cup is applied to the soft tissue of the body. As the air cools rapidly in the cup, it shrinks in size, pulling the soft tissue up into the cup with a vacuum. The rim of the cup seals against the body.”-

Here are a few photos of my experience…forgive me for some of the photos. They were taken with iPhones!

That's me!

That’s me! During…

I know what you’re thinking. “OMG! Did it hurt?” To be honest, it didn’t exactly feel like going to a day spa, BUT the after effects are worth it. Besides the giant hickey-like circles you have on yourself for days and days later. I suggest wearing clothing that covers them up because you may get some weird looks and be asked if you’re a victim of abuse if you go out in public. In China and the Asian countries, this is a popular and very common technique used, but here- not so much.



Yep, that’s what they look like when removed. I did have them on for only a couple minutes and had the cups on 3 or so different times. The longer you leave them on, the darker they can get depending on how toxic you are. I wasn’t so bad, but if you notice, the darkest spots were on my right shoulder area- that’s where I’ve had a random pain lately that I just now figured out where it came from. Work! But anyways..

The whole experience is definitely intimidating at first. I’m not going to sit here and say it’s “cool” and “feels good” or it’s “painless” because I’d be lying. It hurt like a b*tch at times- especially when a myofascial release is done on you, but I won’t go into that. Thank goodness you are heavily lathered in coconut oil before the jars are placed on you.

The whole thing kind of feels like a sunburn in certain areas when you are done. I remember my bra strap area feeling pretty raw and tender. My shoulder pain was nonexistent when it was done though which is crazy!

This is what “cups” look like NOT suctioned to someone by the way. They are glass.

They range in sizes too

They range in sizes too

The smaller the cup, the more painful it is. My teacher luckily started off using the biggest cups first so that I could ease into it and not cry haha.

Here are a few photos of my classmates getting cupped.


Classmate #1 during…

I wasn’t able to find an “after” photo of her.


Classmate #2 during…




Classmate #3 during…



If you’ll notice, on some people’s backs their pores will really open up and get big, but that’s normal. Also some radiating heat from areas that have been cupped is normal as well. Classmate #3 had a lot of heat even days later so it just depends on what you’re body needs to release.

Some of us were pretty toxic and it is practically mandatory to drink gallons of water after you have this done because the body is trying to get rid of all of the stagnant chi or energy. This is a great form of pain relief and helps increase ROM (range of motion) also.

It is uncomfortable at times so I do want to point that out and if you’re afraid of fire then you probably don’t want to partake in this, but I do recommend it. You will notice a difference basically right away depending on how serious the injury is.


This was me a couple days ago…

Still visible

Still visible

They are still there as we speak (or blog), but each day they lighten up and are only tender the next day or so after it’s done.

If you get this done, DON’T FORGET TO HYDRATE YOURSELF!!!!




2 thoughts on “The mystical world of fire cupping

  1. Were those big red blisters in the glass??? What does this do, relieve toxins and pain? I have never heard of this.

    • No it’s just the tissue getting pulled up into the glass due to the suction. Yes, it brings toxins up to the surface and out of the body. I’m no expert so you should research it online for all the details and information.

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