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Considerations and Taboos of Cupping Therapy

Updated: Apr 27

During the cupping process, many aspects need to be considered, like cupping environment, correct cupping methods, cupping time, etc., which all influence the effects of cupping. Chapter Two will describe in detail the whole process from pre-cupping preparation to post-cupping observation of cupping marks, as well as the specific methods, you should also be familiar with your own conditions, and clearly know the time when it is not suitable for cupping, so as to avoid adverse consequences. Below are the points of consideration and taboos of cupping, which will guide you to make full preparation before cupping.


  • During cupping, keep t

he room warm, in case the patient catches a cold.

  • Do not practice cupping at the same area for a second time before the marks of the first cupping disappear.

  • During cupping, the patient should try not to move so the cups will stay on.

  • When several cups are used at the same time, the cups should not be placed too close to each other to prevent collision of cups or the stretching of the skin.

  • Small cups and a small number of cups should be used for the initial recipient and the weak and elderly people.

  • Feeling warm, sore, tight, and sleepy during cupping is a normal phenomenon. Take off the cups if you feel obvious pain or discomfort, and perform cupping again after a short break depending on your situation.

  • During cupping, be careful not to use too much alcohol, not to dip alcohol on the mouth of the cup to prevent the skin from being burned. Also, pay attention to avoid the skin from being burned by boiling water and steam, For pricking cupping, disinfect the cupping tools strictly to prevent infection.


Before cupping, first, understand your own status to avoid the conditions where cupping should be contraindicated. Cupping should be prohibited or applied with caution for those who have any of the following circumstances:

  • Cupping should not be applied to patients during the outbreak of systemic severe convulsions or epilepsy.

  • Cupping is contraindicated for those with a mental disorder or during an outbreak of mental illness, those who bleed easily or suffer haemophilia diseases such as allergic purpura, thrombocytopenic purpura, haemophilia, leukaemia, and positive result of the capillary test, and those with a large range of skin diseases, skin ulceration, or severe allergic skin.

  • Cupping should not be applied to patients with malignant tumours, because it will promote tumour spread and metastasis.

  • During pregnancy, to avoid a miscarriage of discomfort, cupping should not be performed on the lumbosacral region, lower abdomen and nipples.

  • Cupping is contraindicated for patients with severe heart failure, those with kidney illness experiencing kidney functional failure, and those with liver illness experiencing ascites due to cirrhosis and general dropsy.

  • Cupping should be performed on thinkly muscled areas with think subcutaneous fat and less hair. Cupping should not be applied to body surface with large blood vessels, the position of apex beat, delicate skin, the position with obvious blood vessels, scars, and nose, eyes, lips, bone protrusion, and loose skin or skin with large wrinkles.

However, the taboos and unsuitable areas or cupping therapy are not absolute. Those who have used this therapy to alleviate edema, mental illness, high fever, active tuberculosis and other diseases have not experienced adverse reactions, but have achieved very good results. No adverse reaction appears on some people when this therapy is performed on such areas as nipples, a portion of apex beat, nose, ears and external genitalia and anus. It should be determined depending on the actual case as an application of cupping therapy in conjunction with other therapies also does good to appropriate indication, or can improve the curative effects. however, try to avoid cupping in case of the contraindication mentioned above during clinical applications. Be careful if the therapy must be performed.

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