by Gia DiMatteo

Cupping is an ancient purification technique that is used to rid the body

of accumulated toxins, help reduce pain and improve the skin’s appearance. Suction cups are placed over specific areas of the body, drawing out toxins and inflammation, increasing circulation and also assisting in releasing adhesions between the muscles and fascia. Cupping is an excellent way of increasing the effectiveness of most acupuncture, massage and facial treatments.

The following are just a few conditions that cupping may be helpful in


  • Pain anywhere but especially the neck, face (jaw), back, shoulders and hips.
  • Cellulite and uneven skin texture is reduced because cupping helps to release unhealthy adhesions between the fat and fascia, allowing the body to metabolize fat more effectively.
  • Increases organ health: Cupping over the liver, lungs and abdomen can (over the digestive organs) increases circulation to these organs and helps to re-establish normal function.
  • General detoxification: Cupping helps eliminate toxins in the blood, thereby assisting in detoxification. An excellent way to increase the effectiveness of a cleanse, cupping pairs beautifully with several sessions in an infrared sauna.


  • Providing a gentle lift to the muscles and skin, small silicone cups glide over the face in a soothing massage-like motion.
  • Gently gliding cups in a rhythmic pattern over the face assists in lymphatic drainage, increasing health and a youthful vitality to the skin.
  • Releases tension and symptoms of TMJ by placing cups over tight jaw muscles.

How long have you been cupping? 

I learned the basics of cupping in acupuncture school about 20 years ago but It wasn’t until I studied under my acupuncture teacher and cupping master, Susan Johnson about 10 years ago that I learned the more advanced techniques that I practice today.

When did you first hear about it? 

I have been studying traditional and complementary medicines for most of
my life and have known about cupping for at least 30 years. Cupping is
originally from China but is practiced on every continent in various forms
and methods.

Do you have any anecdotal success stories? 

For me, every cupping treatment is a miracle in its own way. Depending
upon a variety of factors (severity of symptoms, length of time, general
health of the patient, etc) the results can be extraordinary. I have had the
pleasure of witnessing people walk away from a single cupping session
almost entirely liberated from debilitating chronic pain. In my experience,
conditions that respond the best to cupping include migraine and tension
headaches, sinus-related conditions, asthma and pneumonia, frozen
shoulder and any kind of back or neck pain. It is also remarkable at
removing toxins and waste products from the blood and therefore improves
overall lymphatic function.

How common is cupping here in Marin?

I only know of a handful of practitioners in the county who are truly devoted
to the practice of cupping however people are starting to ask for it. After
the summer Olympic games in Rio when Michael Phelps and the US
swimming team were all proudly displaying their cupping marks, articles
and features on cupping started showing up all over the web and on the
news. This has generated a lot of curiosity about the practice and I am
thrilled about it. Cupping is definitely not for everyone but there are many
people for whom it can be a life-changing therapy.

What should people expect when they come in? 

Cupping treatments generally last about 15 to 30 minutes and are often
integrated into other bodywork services. At Resonance we offer cupping in
combination with our 60 and 90 minute massages as well as our 60 minute
acupuncture sessions.
The overall sensation of the cups can range from a mild suction, tightness
or tingling to what is often described as a “good pain”. During the session,
the therapist is watching the color patterns that may emerge within the cup
and will determine the degree of stagnation that exists in the tissue. The
darker the color, the more deoxygenated blood is present and the better
the results will be.
Cupping marks can last up to a week or more but the typical length of time
is 2 to 5 days. I always ask my patients to take it easy for the rest of the
day after cupping as the body is working hard to process the released

follow the link below to the Cupping Treatment Menu