Cupping Therapy for the Neck

Materials needed: Cupping set 

Many people carry tension in their neck and shoulders as a result of stress or poor posture.  Cupping therapy is a simple and effective way to relieve this tension by releasing fascial adhesion and increasing blood flow to an area. Releasing fascial adhesion and increasing blood flow increases circulation, loosens tight muscles, and promotes overall healing. In this video, we will go over how to use cupping therapy on the neck and shoulders at home.

First, you’ll want to get your cups set up. Most cupping sets come with several sizes of cups. The larger diameter cups are for broader surfaces, in this case, the shoulder area, and the smaller diameter cups are for smaller surfaces like the neck. 

To determine where to put the cups, assess the tissue and see which areas are tender. You’ll want to place the cups in these tender areas while trying to keep them centralized on the body. Dr. Ulery prefers to start by placing the larger diameter cups on the shoulders and then moves on to the smaller cups for the neck. The amount of suction you should use depends on the sensitivity of the person receiving the cupping therapy. Dr. Ulery recommends using 1-3 pumps so that the tissue is raised but not uncomfortable. You can always partially release the cup valve by pulling the center plunger or start over if the suction is too tight or too loose. 

Leave the cups on for 3 to 5 minutes and then remove them by releasing the cup valve. Dr. Ulery recommends pulling the tissue next to the cup as it is released to make it as comfortable for the patient as possible. Keep in mind that the suction created by the cups may cause redness and bruising; this happens often and is mostly painless.

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