I started teaching cupping therapy several years ago. One of the main reasons I started to teach was because I saw so many videos online of people using incorrect techniques.
Some of the things I saw online were downright scary! Others were not necessarily, but they certainly were not the best way to use cupping. Some practices might be somewhat therapeutic in the long run, but they were causing pain, tearing away at people’s skin and looking really uncomfortable.
I cannot state this enough; Cupping should NEVER be painful! It is not a no pain, no gain therapy. There is no need to cup so deeply that the patient is in pain.
I am still seeing videos where people are being hurt. Please, please, please, get proper training in cupping therapy before you start working on others.
If you are going to a cupping therapy appointment, here is one cupping tip for you. Your therapist should be leaving the cups to sit for about 4 or 5 minutes before they start moving them around in a massage motion. This gives your muscle tissue time to relax and stretch out to respond more easily to the massage technique. If the therapist is not patient or is in a rush to get to another appointment, they may begin the massage portion of the treatment too quickly. This can actually do more damage to your tight and sore muscles, rather than helping to release the pain and stiffness you came to have treated in the first place.
The massage should start in smaller circular motions or in small zig zag patterns, before it moves into longer, deeper strokes. This also warms up the tissue, gradually stretching out the muscles and opening up the body to deeper techniques. It prevents tearing and damaging the tissue and helps to alleviate soreness after the treatment.
You should also ask your cupping therapist if they know how to incorporate lymphatic drainage techniques to your treatment to help the body to process any toxins that have been released, and to reduce aches and pains after treatment.
I have a series of videos on youtube with more info on cupping therapy and to support students who have taken my cupping classes.