top of page
Image by Katherine Hanlon


Michelle has received extra training in cupping therapy and is passionate about its various applications in her practice.

Cupping therapy=myofascial decompression = creating lift and space between fascia and muscle layers.

Clinical implications: Fascia is the connective tissue that surrounds and supports muscle. Mobility and muscle performance rely on healthy movement of fascia along the surface of muscle. Fascia can become 'stuck' in certain spots or compromised following over-use of particular muscles (job-related or sport), tension, poor posture, post-surgery, or post-injury. The soft tissue lift created with cupping can provide relief primarily via improvement of blood flow amongst other mechanisms listed below.

How does Cupping work?

  • A pump is used to generate negative pressure within a cup.

  • This creates ‘lift’ of underlying soft tissue (facia and muscle.)

  • Cups are moved along surface of body (sliding cupping) creating a massage-like effect

  • During sliding cupping, Michelle assesses pliability of tissue. If she detects resistance or feels a ‘crunching’ sensation, that suggests adhesions between muscle and fascia and I will leave stationary cups in place for 15sec-2min.

  • The degree of suction can be controlled so treatments can be gentle


Physiological Responses:

  • Increases circulation to soft tissue, improving oxygenation and nutrient delivery

  • Alleviates myofascial adhesions- a cause of poor mobility and pain

  • Enhances fluid exchange of fascia and muscle = rehydrates tissues

  • Clears metabolic waste (ex. lactic acid) that can become trapped in tight muscles. Metabolic waste can be an irritant/pain signal to nerves and soft tissue

  • Lymphatic drainage

  • Decompression of sensory nerve endings = pain relief

  • Neovascularization – growth of new blood vessels via microtrauma of superficial capillaries


Cupping FAQs:

  • A cupping mark is NOT a bruise. Bruising can happen when a cup is left in place for too long or performed incorrectly. Cupping marks fade, whereas bruises change colour.

  • Cupping does NOT hurt. This is a sign of poor technique or too much suction within the cup. Communication is key throughout treatment. 

  • Treatments consist of a variety of both sliding and stationary cupping, however, for those who don't want marking or require more gentle treatments (ex. Fibromyalgia) adjustments can be made.

Indications for Cupping:

  • Decreased range of motion or mobility

  • Athletic performance - pre and post event

  • Muscle tension

  • Relaxation - sliding cupping feels like a massage!

  • Pain 

  • Edema  (thorough work-up that has ruled out liver/kidney/cardiovascular involvement is required)


Contraindications for Cupping

  • Pregnancy

  • Surgery or joint replacement within 4-6 weeks

  • Cancer

  • Immunocompromised

  • Over injection sites

  • Over thin/damaged skin

  • Over active skin infection

Cupping: Service
bottom of page