Why is cupping painful?

You may have experienced it yourself, or perhaps you’ve heard about it from others, but cupping can sometimes be quite painful. Why is this? Why does cupping hurt?

Cupping can be painful when someone has a lot of adhesions. During the cupping treatment, these adhesions are loosened, which can cause discomfort as you are essentially pulling the layers of tissue apart.

It’s important to understand that the skin consists of multiple layers. Blood, fluids, nutrients, etc., flow between these layers. Ideally, these different layers of skin should be somewhat free from each other for optimal circulation. However, in some cases, these layers can stick together, causing adhesions that can lead to pain.

How Do Connective Tissue Adhesions Form?

ou must understand that our bodies are not designed to live as we do today. Originally, humans were hunter-gatherers. This means we were constantly on the move, searching for food and a safe shelter. We were physically active and faced various physical challenges, all in a clean, natural environment with plenty of fresh air and sunlight.

Unfortunately, the reality today is different. Most people spend more than eight hours a day sitting. And often, they sit in improper postures. When we are sedentary, our bodies don’t need to constantly supply us with fresh blood, oxygen, and nutrients. Consequently, our metabolism and circulation slow down. Imagine a river with slow-flowing water. Any debris that enters the river isn’t effectively washed away. Eventually, the river starts to clog up.

This also happens in our bodies. People with sedentary jobs and older individuals often experience slowed circulation due to excessive sitting. Our “rivers” get clogged up.

why is cupping painful?
Sometimes cupping can be a bit intens.

What Factors Aggravate Connective Tissue Adhesions?

Lack of movement isn’t the only cause of adhesions. The excessive toxins we encounter in our environment also disrupt circulation. To continue with the river metaphor: If you dump a lot of garbage into the river every day, blockages will occur eventually. Examples of toxins we encounter in daily life include:


Chemical emissions from industrial areas.

Car exhaust fumes.

Chemicals and metals in deodorants and skincare products.

Radiation from phones and laptops.

Endogenous toxins, such as stress hormones.

Contaminated food, such as heavy metals in certain fish.

Additives and processed foods.

Pesticides in food.


As you can see, keeping your body clean is almost an art. You’d almost have to live in an untouched natural environment and eat only organic products. But for most people, this isn’t a feasible or desirable goal.

What Can You Do About Adhesions?

Cupping is ideal for breaking up existing adhesions. With one or two treatments, you can achieve a lot. Often, patients report feeling “freer” or “looser” after a treatment. By scheduling regular cupping sessions, you help keep the body supple and healthy. But as we all know, “prevention is better than cure.”

The best thing you can do is make lifestyle adjustments to prevent adhesions from occurring. Some lifestyle changes you can implement include:


Ensure you’re physically active daily.

Aim for clean, natural foods without additives.

Get enough sleep: between 7.5 and 9 hours.

Avoid stress and try meditation or breathing techniques to de-stress.

Regularly stretch body parts prone to stiffness with yoga exercises.