Diving into the Depths of Cupping Therapy: An Acupuncturist’s Guide to Wet, Dry, and Fire Cupping

by | Jun 9, 2023

As an experienced acupuncturist, I’ve witnessed firsthand the rejuvenating effects of cupping therapy. From reducing inflammation and pain to promoting relaxation and well-being, this ancient healing technique has a wealth of benefits. Today, we’re taking a comprehensive look at the three primary types of cupping therapy: Wet, Dry, and Fire cupping. Each has its unique characteristics, therapeutic applications, and benefits. Let’s delve into the fascinating world of cupping therapy.


Dry Cupping: The Fundamental Approach


Dry cupping, also known as “air cupping,” is the most common form of this therapy. It involves placing specialized cups on the skin and creating a vacuum inside them, either by suction or by heating the air within. This vacuum pulls the skin and underlying tissues upwards, enhancing blood circulation and lymph flow.


The primary benefits of dry cupping include relief from muscle tension, increased circulation, and promotion of cell repair. It’s also effective in addressing respiratory conditions like bronchitis and asthma, and it can improve digestive issues as well.

Dry cupping has an excellent safety record when performed by trained practitioners. However, it can cause temporary skin discoloration due to the suction effect, which typically fades within a few days.


Wet Cupping: A Step Further


Wet cupping, also known as “hijama” or “bloodletting,” takes the dry cupping technique a step further. After the initial suction is applied, the practitioner makes tiny incisions in the skin, and the cup is reattached to draw out a small amount of blood.


This technique is believed to remove harmful substances and toxins from the body. Wet cupping is often used for conditions such as skin problems, migraines, and arthritis. It’s also believed to balance the body’s energies or ‘qi,’ promoting overall wellness.

However, it’s crucial to note that wet cupping involves a slight risk of infection due to the skin incisions. Hence, it’s vital to seek treatment from a certified practitioner who follows strict hygiene protocols.


Fire Cupping: The Ancient Art


Fire cupping is a captivating blend of traditional dry cupping and an ancient element – fire. In this technique, a cotton ball soaked in alcohol is briefly ignited and placed inside the cup. The fire consumes the oxygen, creating a vacuum. The flaming cotton ball is removed, and the cup is quickly placed on the skin.


The heat in fire cupping adds an extra dimension to the therapy. It provides a warming effect that penetrates deeply into the tissues, offering relief for cold and stagnant conditions according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) principles. Fire cupping can aid in treating conditions like colds, respiratory issues, and certain types of pain.

It’s important to remember that while fire cupping can be highly beneficial, it requires a skilled practitioner to ensure safety.


Cupping therapy, be it dry, wet, or fire, offers a wealth of health benefits. From easing pain and inflammation to promoting relaxation and detoxification, this ancient technique continues to be a valuable tool in holistic healthcare.


Remember, the effectiveness of cupping therapy depends on the skill of the practitioner. Always ensure that you choose a certified and experienced professional for your cupping therapy sessions.


Whether you’re looking to enhance your wellness routine or seeking relief from a specific health issue, cupping therapy can provide a natural, non-invasive, and effective solution.

As an acupuncturist and holistic health practitioner, I’ve seen the transformative power of cupping therapy in countless patients’ lives. If you’re curious about these therapies or have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. It’s time to embrace the healing potential of cupping therapy!


Key Takeaways


  • Dry cupping is a traditional form of therapy that uses suction to promote circulation and relieve muscle tension.
  • Wet cupping involves making tiny incisions in the skin after the initial suction, believed to draw out toxins and harmful substances.
  • Fire cupping uses the element of heat along with suction, providing a warming effect that penetrates deeply into the tissues.
  • All forms of cupping therapy should be performed by trained and certified practitioners to ensure safety and effectiveness.
  • Cupping therapy can offer a host of health benefits, including pain relief, detoxification, improved circulation, and overall wellness.


Remember, as with any therapy or treatment, individual results may vary, and it’s important to discuss these methods with a healthcare provider before starting. Cupping therapy could be the missing link in your journey to optimal health!


Dr. Cecilia Rusnak is a certified acupuncturist with a passion for holistic health and wellness. With over 10 years of experience in the field, Dr. Cecilia Rusnak specializes in a variety of therapies, including cupping, to help patients achieve optimal health. Dr. Cecilia Rusnak believes in the power of natural healing methods and is dedicated to sharing knowledge and insights in the field of acupuncture and cupping therapy.



Dr. Cecilia Rusnak MA, AP, D.O.M

1107 Person Street

Kissimmee, FL 34741

407-624-5258 Clinic

407-289-4047 Fax



Get In Touch

Please let us know if you need to address issues in your body and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.