Five Cupping Therapy Questions with Anita J. Shannon

Cupping Therapy Questions and Answers Blog
If you have questions on Cupping Therapy, our team of industry experts will have your answers.

Cupping Therapy Q&A Series


Thank you for joining us for another installment of our Cupping Therapy Q&A Series. Here, we feature clinical questions submitted to us by ACE Massage Cupping Therapy practitioners. Our educators offer some brief insight on the topic so that you can expand your working knowledge on this revolutionary bodywork therapy and its benefits.


I really enjoyed the MediCupping Course I did online. I had so many questions while I was watching the videos and I was hoping to get some answers.

  1. What can you tell me about the “discoloring” of the tissue when you leave the cups parked, with regards to the different colors you mentioned? My clients ask me what the discoloration means all the time and I want to give them a good answer. Yellow means? Green means? Purple means?
  2. After applying a lotion, I always have trouble with greasy hands and have a hard time holding onto the cups, what do you suggest I do? I do wipe my hands off but I always pick up more lotion once I start working with the cups.
  3. You talk about drainage pathways and there is a chart but it still isn’t that easy for me to understand what you mean, can you clarify?
  4. What is the best way to clean the cups and the hose? I have the MM-600 Vacutherapy Machine.
  5. When do we need to replace the filter on the MM-600?


Hi Esther, thank you so much for your questions.

Each color will mean something different for each person, that is why I have never been able to do a chart. Yellow could be old jaundice, but it could also be from medications or supplements. The purple usually means that happened a long time ago, I have also seen black, which was a really old injury. Green can be so many things, and where it appears is the first clue to look at.

I’m not sure what to say about the cups slipping out of your hands. I do wipe my hands after applying oil or lotion and palpating tissue, and it seems to work okay. You may want to experiment with different oils or lotions to find something that works better for you.

Have you had a chance to study the lymphatic system yet? There are some great courses available, and one really simple book by Földi titled “Foundations of Lymph” that can help you a bunch. It’s important to remember that all drainage leads to the nodes. I had to change some traditional manual work because we overloaded some node beds early on before we made those changes.

I wash the cups using a mild, unscented soap, and then either put them in a UV sanitizer or wipe them down with Seventh Generation Disinfecting Wipes. As far as cleaning the machine’s hose, please do not submerge the hose in water. The inside of the hose does not need to be cleaned. As for the hose’s exterior, I just wipe it down with the same wipes. If you have an oil or lotion product going up into the tubes during treatment, there is too much product on the client. This is especially true if using whole coconut oil. Coconut oil can easily get caught up in the hose if too much is used.

Replacing the filter on the MM-600 should be done as needed, and depends highly on the frequency of use. Inspect the filter every 2 months or so, if a dark spot or buildup is seen on the filter then it’s time to replace it. We sell a filter kit that should provide enough filters for 8-12 months of use.

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About the Author

Anita J. Shannon
Anita J. Shannon

Educator Info

  • ACE Founder
  • Director of ACE
  • Massage Therapy Hall of Fame Inductee – 2011


Anita J. Shannon has been a licensed massage therapist and licensed cosmetologist since 1983. She specializes in skin care, body treatments, clinical aromatherapy, and various modalities of massage therapy. She has been a national educator since 1990, appearing at numerous national spa and massage conventions each year. For four years, Anita appeared as a co-host on the television program “Health Options Today” with Dr. Mitchell Ghen.

Anita is the founder and director of Advanced Continuing Education (ACE), an NCBTMB CE provider established in 2001. Anita has presented hundreds of workshops on ACE Massage Cupping and MediCupping therapy throughout the US and internationally since 2002. Anita has been published on the subject of cupping therapy in industry publications such as Massage Today, Massage Magazine, and Les Nouvelles Esthetiques. She has published two educational videos on ACE Massage Cupping bodywork, two on MediCupping therapy and one on TheraCupping home care, and is currently writing a book on VacuTherapies. In 2011, Anita was inducted into the Massage Therapy Hall of Fame.

In 2016, Anita opened ACE Institute Online, an online education portal designed to bring cupping therapy training into the digital age. Since its debut in 2016, ACE Institute Online has introduced the revolutionary techniques found in ACE Massage Cupping and MediCupping to over ten thousand students worldwide.

Anita’s Upcoming Workshops