Follow Us:

Myofascial Cupping - What is it? How can it help?

Myofascial Cupping

Myofascial Cupping

Myofascial cupping (MC) is a soft tissue therapy that involves the application of decompressed cups on the skin, creating a vacuum effect that lifts up underlying tissues such as the fascia (connective tissue) and muscles, blood and other fluid, close to the surface of the skin. Once the muscle layer is drawn up into the cup, it stimulates the circulation of blood, breaks up adhesions, and creates a pathway for toxins to be drawn out of the body through the lymphatic system.


MC has been found in ancient Chinese, Egyptian, and Hindu writings. This is a therapeutic practice that involves the attachment of small glass or plastic cups to the skin through suction.  And is a staple in eastern medicines. 


It can be beneficial for conditions such as:


Tight and stiff muscles

Sciatica, piriformis syndrome

IT band pain

Rotator cuff injuries

Plantar fasciitis

Respiratory conditions

Asthma, bronchitis


It can also assist with some emotional balance issues such as:






High blood pressure by calming the nervous system



MC stimulates a whole body relaxation response (parasympathetic response) in the body which assists in counteracting the toxic effects of chronic stress by slowing breathing rate, relaxing muscles, and reducing blood pressure.   MC also promotes oxygenation and detoxification of blood while promoting a feeling of lightness and relief of pressure.   


MC also detoxifies metabolic debris in our muscle tissue, fascia and skin while increasing our range of motion, breaking up adhesions and promoting healing in scar tissue and chronic injury sites while also promoting increased lymphatic drainage improving circulation and reducing swelling.  This aids in reducing recovery time for some chronic injuries. 


MC is not without its side effects; if you have ever seen the marks left behind by a cupping session, you may expect this treatment to be painful, however it is most often pleasant and as enjoyable as a regular massage. It differs from a regular massage in that the cups pull up the tissue in areas where you are being treated, as opposed to downward pressure with a regular massage.   It does leave deep red circles which can be expected to fade over a few days to a week.    One may remember all of the media frenzy around Michael Phelps’ relay team event at the 2016 Summer Olympics where he looked like a dalmatian.    This brought MC to the forefront of discussions and today there are more and more athletes who swear by it, including Phelps, saying it keeps them injury free and speeds recovery. 


According to Houman Danesh, M.D., Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology and Rehabilitation Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital: “blood flow is the body’s way of naturally healing”.   Danesh frequently combines cupping with mainstream pain therapy techniques stating that “increased blood flow can be beneficial to jumpstart or restart a blunted healing response.” 


We at Massage for Health use a technique called gliding cups.   It directly focuses on the fascial system with an intent to have soft tissue change and release.  This will have you going from dysfunction to function.


An example of the cups are here:

Myofascial Cupping


These work by applying a topical ointment on the skin and then the cups are gently moved across the skin, usually along meridians or fascia and muscle planes. 


This technique is a hybrid between traditional cupping and myofascial release. The compression comes from the rims of the cups, however the principal intent is the negative pressure. The cups lift and separate, where most other forms of massage use pressure. This passive soft tissue stretch, with the lifting and separating, makes for one of the best ways to passively stretch fascia


Our technicians at Massage For Health are proud to offer such an innovative practice and would love to hear from you with any questions you may have.   Please call our clinic at 403-225-0763 to learn more or to book your session.   


Share This Post:

Related Posts

Latest Testimonial

I think they have the best laser machine in Calgary!
Laser Hair Removal
Ethelinda Galdo

Contact Us

Questions? Comments? Call us today at 403.225.0763 or fill out the form below:

Have Questions? Call Us Today At

Call Us

Join Our Newsletter