Cupping Services Edmonton

Woman laying facedown on massage table with 4 cupping cups across the top of her back

Red Leaf Wellness offers functional medicine services, including cupping, in the Edmonton, Alberta region. We provide whole health and alternative medicine strategies by blending the best of ancient Eastern healing with modern Western medicine.

The practice of cupping traces back thousands of years ago to ancient Chinese, Egyptian, and Middle Eastern cultures.

In fact, the technique is described in one of the oldest medical textbooks known as the “Ebers Papyrus”, suggesting that ancient Egyptians were using cupping therapy as early as 1,550 B.C.!


Cupping is a technique that is often used to treat musculoskeletal pain and is available in 30 and 60 minute increments or in conjunction with our acupuncture or massage services. The cupping sessions involve the use of silicone or glass cups that are placed on the skin’s surface. This creates a reverse pressure massage that reaches tissues at a much deeper level.

This in turn causes the fascia to realign and restructure the tissue while also promoting blood circulation, lymphatic drainage, and toxin release.

Your practitioner may apply a thin layer of oil to your skin and move the cups around the affected area or leave them in strategic places depending on your unique needs.

Despite certain cupping techniques that exist, there is no bleeding involved with our therapy – although you may experience redness and round bruise-like marks for 3 to 5 days. However, unlike bruises, they’re not caused by ruptured blood vessels due to impact or injury, so they’re not painful. Cupping marks are the result of stagnant blood, cellular debris, or pathogens from a past or present injury or illness that are brought to the surface. This allows the waste to be cleared out through the lymphatic system and new blood to flow through your injury, promoting further healing and range of motion. Cupping is not painful and feels like being massaged.

The Benefits of Cupping

Cupping stimulates the temperature of the tissues by increasing blood flow to the area – which is important in relaxing your muscles and decreasing tension.

This is done by creating a vacuum pressure that lifts up tissue and brings circulation to the surface, providing more nutrients and oxygen to the tissues.

This therapy technique also promotes the removal of waste in your tissues by increasing blood flow to nourish the muscles and skin and allowing toxins to be carried away through the lymphatic system.

Cupping also decreases cortisol and creates a sense of relaxation. Cortisol is a hormone that, when released, causes stress in your body. While it is necessary for our “fight or flight” response, heightened levels of cortisol can lead to anxiety, headaches, and weight gain.

While cupping increases temperature, it also calms the nervous system – this helps to calm the feeling of stress. This therapeutic effect is beneficial to those who have high blood pressure, anxiety, and fatigue.

Getting the Most Out of Cupping Therapy

Before you attend your appointment for cupping at Red Leaf Wellness, it’s important to prepare your body for maximum effects. This includes drinking plenty of water and eating about an hour before your appointment.

It’s also important that you do not shave the area to be cupped within four hours of your appointment to avoid irritation. Likewise, if you are recovering from a sunburn, it is best to postpone your visit.

After your cupping appointment, you should continue to drink water to help flush your lymphatic system. Try to keep the area where you received cupping warm and get some rest following the appointment.

For about 4-6 hours after cupping, you should avoid caffeine, alcohol, sugar foods/drinks, dairy, and processed meats – these foods slow down your body’s ability to process the treatment. Also avoid hot showers, saunas, hot tubs, and strong air conditioning to prevent irritation to your skin.

Are You Ready to Start Your Journey to Health and Wellness?

Our integrative wellness clinic provides whole health, functional, and alternative medicine strategies in the Edmonton region.

Cupping is one of the many services Red Leaf Wellness offers as part of the individualized treatment plans we design for each patient based on their unique needs, symptoms, and wellness goals.

If you’re interested in booking an appointment for cupping therapy, or are curious to learn about our other services, let’s get in touch today!