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Does Wet Cupping Work? or is it just a load of Hocus Pocus!

Does Wet Cupping Work

In this post i’m going to tell you everything you need to know about cupping, by sharing research and also by discussing my own experience with the popular ancient healing method…

What Is Cupping? 

About a month ago I went for a wet cupping session. For those of you who don’t know what cupping is…

Suction cups are placed on your back (also potentially other areas – head, shoulders, legs) basically the area that needs targeting. After a few minutes the cups are removed and small incisions are made, causing minor bleeding, the cups are then put back on the bleeding area(s) to suction the blood and remove toxins. 

Sounds pretty interesting/weird right? 

There are people who swear by cupping and those who think it’s absolute HOCUS POCUS (bull shit basically!) 

Let’s do more research and discuss further…

A Brief History Of Cupping Therapy…

Cupping therapy possibly evolved over 5,000 years ago and was practiced in locations ranging from China in the far-east to Eastern European countries such the Balkans and Bulgaria, and Egypt in north Africa. 

Cupping is an ancient form of alternative medicine and was first documented in 1550 BC – where it was reported that the Egyptians were using the method. It was also used by the Greeks (440BC) to heal internal diseases and fix structural problems.  

Popularity of Cupping…

Nowadays, the popular reasons for having a cupping session are to: reduce pain, lower inflammation, ease joint pain, to cure skin problems, lower acne, improve respiratory disorders, increase blood flow, and to relax – a bit like a deep tissue sports massage.

It’s been made even more popular by the likes of Michael Phelps, Amir Khan, Andy Murray, and boxer Floyd Mayweather who have all been seen with cupping marks to help improve athletic performance. 


Although there’s still lots of debate, cupping is reported to have the following benefits

  • Eliminates weakness in the body – disease, fever, illness
  • Fights against dermatological diseases 
  • Improves the efficiency of the central nervous system 
  • Reduces muscular pain 
  • Improves circulation 
  • Relieves anxiety 

My Wet Cupping Experience…

I decided to give cupping ago after a friend recommended it to me. Initially I was a little sceptical, being from a very scientific background, and I wasn’t sure whether sticking a bunch of cups on my back and making me bleed would work!?! 

I was nervous before my session, especially because I don’t like blood and i’m a big wimp! I found it pretty uncomfortable to be honest, and I felt faint, especially when I saw some blood on my back lol! 

Immediately after the session I felt very tired/exhausted and went straight home. I think I slept for about 2 hours and couldn’t move for the rest of the day due to fatigue. 

You’re not supposed to shower for 24 hours after cupping therapy, because it can aggravate the healing process.  I found this hard to do as I usually shower 2-3x per day. 

When I did shower the following morning it was painful, and sore – the best way i can describe it, is that it’s like bad sunburn! 

The marks on my back took about 2 weeks to disappear – if you are going on a beach holiday or are body conscious i wouldn’t recommend doing cupping close to periods where your body is on show (leave it at least 3-4 weeks). 

I’ve had another cupping session since (2 in total for me) and it’s very hard to tell whether or not it worked. I’m still a little skeptical to be honest. Although I noticed an improvement to my performance (increased strength) that could have just been down to the added rest, or the fact that I felt relaxed – maybe the reason I felt relaxed was because for once in my life I sat still for an hour! 

Maybe I could get the same effects by just training less, and taking more rest? 

Is it the placebo effect? where you think something works so therefore it does? I believe it could be. 

I don’t think i’ll get cupping again, just because I just don’t believe in it enough and I think there are other ways to improve performance which are less invasive and don’t hurt as much. 

Have any of you had cupping? if so what did you think? 

Yay or Neigh?

I’d love to hear your thoughts…

cupping in sheffield

Nick 🙂