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tcm cupping in singapore


Cupping (拔罐) refers to a specific type of Chinese massage, which consists of traditional chinese medicine (TCM) physicians placing several glass "cups" (more like open spheres) on the body.

Traditional Chinese Medicine cupping works on your body's meridian system, to open any potential stagnant or blocked meridian or acupoints points for a better flow of Qi.

This also helps to rejuvenate specific meridians and organs that are not functioning properly or fully.

Scientifically, cupping TCM techniques are known moreso to

  1. activate our body's lymphatic system
  2. improve blood circulation and 
  3. internal system / tissue repair

fire versus pump cuppings


The traditional approach to cupping is the "fire cupping" style, where the TCM physician will light a fire source, quickly "swirl" it inside the cup and then removing the fire source before placing the cup against open skin.

Not to worry, it's not hot for you, it simply works to create pressure.

You see, as the air inside the cup is heated, the air inside is heated and it increases with kinetic energy and expands; so when the TCM physician places it on the skin, it cools and that lowers the pressure inside the cup that causes the cup to "suck" the skin into the cup.

The Modern Approach

The modern and a little safer approach is to use the pump version (with a pump mechanism) to cause the suction.

The suction created with a suction pump is/tends to be:

  • more consistent in pressure
  • more even in pressure
  • more controlled
  • close to zero heat

At the same time retains 100% of the health benefits of traditional chinese medicine cupping therapy.

Sometimes, the TCM physician may also place massage oil on the skin, and this allows the cups (in-suction) to be moved around the back/skin. This is a reverse-pressure massage, and known as "zhou-gwan" (走罐).

Zhou-gwan in English is glide-cupping or gliding-cupping), which serves one main purpose:

to restart the Qi (inner, bodily energy) within the patient


The health benefits of restarting of Qi

  1. increases one's internal energy levels and flow
  2. increasing mental alertness
  3. increases mental focus
  4. increases physical and mental strength
  5. increasing immunity naturally

How many cupping sessions would I need?

The number and frequency of traditional Chinese medicine cupping sessions changes and varies from patients to patients, based on:

  • their age
  • severity of their medical / health conditions
  • how their body respond to the treatments

In some patients, they may feel a lot of relief even from the first session (or first few); others may only experience the benefits after 6-12 sessions or more.

Generally, someone who has had a health condition for years will need 2-3 treatments a week for the first 4 weeks, and then gradually reduce to once per week.

is tcm cupping painful?

No, not at all - it's gentle suction on the skin, with no skin breakage or punctures.