cupping for lymphatic drainage

How Does Cupping for Lymphatic Drainage Work?

Are you familiar with the centuries-old practice of cupping therapy, specifically cupping for lymphatic drainage? Throughout the world, cupping therapy has stood the test of time and remains a prevalent therapeutic approach today. This technique is sought-after for its potential to promote relaxation and healing, often paired with complementary therapies like massage and acupuncture. With its lymphatic-stimulating benefits, cupping for lymphatic drainage can be a game-changer. In this blog post, we’ll unravel just how cupping facilitates lymphatic drainage.

What is the Lymphatic System?

Before we plunge into the mechanics of cupping for lymphatic drainage, let’s first discuss the intricacies of the lymphatic system. This complex network of vessels and tissues works to eliminate toxins and waste from the body while simultaneously transporting essential white blood cells that combat infections and illnesses. In contrast to the circulatory system, which is propelled by the heart’s rhythmic pumping, the lymphatic system relies on muscular contractions to move lymph fluid throughout the body.

How is Cupping for Lymphatic Drainage Performed?

Cupping for lymphatic drainage is typically performed by a licensed massage therapist or trained healthcare professional. The procedure begins with a consultation to assess the patient’s medical history and any underlying health conditions that may affect the treatment.

The therapist then applies a lubricating oil or lotion to the patient’s skin to reduce friction and allow the cups to glide smoothly over the body’s surface. Next, the therapist places the cups on the skin in a specific sequence, depending on the area of the body being treated.

The therapist will leave the cups in place for several minutes, typically 5-10 minutes, depending on the patient’s tolerance and the severity of their lymphatic congestion. During this time, the patient may feel a mild to moderate sensation of pressure or tightness in the treated area.

After the designated time, the therapist removes the cups and applies gentle pressure to the area to help redistribute any accumulated fluids. The patient may be asked to drink water or other fluids after the treatment to help flush out any toxins or waste products released during the procedure.

In some cases, the therapist may use a technique called “sliding cupping,” in which the cups are moved over the skin continuously rather than being left in place. This technique often treats larger body areas, such as the back or legs.

How is Facial Cupping for Lymphatic Drainage Performed?

Facial cupping has its roots in traditional medicine, mainly traditional Chinese medicine. However, cupping is also practiced in conventional Egyptian, Tibetan, Unani, and Korean medicine. In this therapy, heated glass bulbs create small pockets of vacuum, balancing the body’s qi or energy flow. 

Cupping can relieve stressed muscles and promote cell repair by increasing blood circulation. While Tibetan and Unani medical clinics offer cupping therapy, many spas in India also provide Ventoz, an Indian form of cupping that relieves knotted muscles, followed by a deep massage. Face cupping utilizes the same principle, but the methodology is different. Instead of glass bulbs, small plastic cups massage the face, creating a slight vacuum that encourages better blood flow.

Is Facial Cupping Safe?

In the hands of a proficient and seasoned therapist, facial cupping is generally a safe and sound therapy. Nevertheless, like any procedure, some risks warrant consideration. The most frequent adverse effects of facial cupping include skin irritation and bruising, which are typically mild and transient, dissipating within a few days. However, in rare instances, facial cupping can lead to more severe consequences, such as scarring or infection. Therefore, seeking a qualified and experienced therapist to administer facial cupping and discuss potential risks thoroughly before embarking on the treatment is crucial.


Cupping for lymphatic drainage is a safe and effective therapy that can promote healing and relaxation. By creating negative pressure, cupping can help to improve circulation, reduce inflammation, relieve pain, promote relaxation, and improve immune system function. If you’re interested in cupping for lymphatic drainage, be sure to find a qualified and experienced therapist and discuss any potential risks with them. With proper care and attention, cupping can be a valuable tool for promoting health and well-being. Contact Mind & Soul Acupuncture at 305-456-1014 to schedule your appointment.