How to Get Started with Cupping Therapy in 2022


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Each year, our customer service team handles thousands of inquiries from customers and students. By far, the most common questions we receive are “What is the best equipment to buy?” and “What is the best way for me to get started using cupping therapy in my practice?” We’ve compiled this list of our best recommendations for the current year that will help guide your choice in deciding which cupping therapy equipment is right for you. Read on for our best recommendations on how to get started with cupping therapy in 2022.

Manual Cupping Therapy vs Electronic Vacuum Cupping Therapy

The first decision you’ll need to make when you begin your cupping therapy journey is what style of cupping therapy you’ll want to learn. The two most popular styles of modern cupping therapies are ACE Massage Cupping Therapy and MediCupping VacuTherapy. Both styles were created by our founder, Anita J. Shannon, and utilize a fusion of techniques that combines medical massage with the ancient art of traditional cupping therapy. While ACE Massage Cupping and MediCupping both utilize many of the same techniques, there are some key differences between the two styles that you’ll want to consider when getting started. Since both styles utilize different equipment, you’ll want to know the pros and cons of both to be able to make an informed purchase.

ACE Massage Cupping

Manual Cupping Therapy Cups

ACE Massage Cupping therapy is an incredibly versatile, modern style of cupping therapy. The basic movements can easily be customized to accomplish a wide variety of techniques, from lymphatic drainage to deep tissue release. This complements many health modalities ranging from spa treatments and medical massage, to chiropractic, physical, and occupational therapies. By creating suction and negative pressure, ACE Massage Cupping therapy is used to soften tight muscles, tone attachments, loosen adhesions, lift connective tissue, bring hydration and blood flow to body tissues, and drain excess fluids and toxins by opening lymphatic pathways.

ACE Massage Cupping uses traditional cupping therapy cups that are pumped by hand via rubber bulbs or a pistol hand-pump. Since the equipment is pumped by hand, it’s simple to operate for somebody wary of using electronics. However, pumping the cups by hand is more physically demanding on the practitioner and can cause your hands to get tired more quickly. The compact nature of the equipment is convenient when traveling to clients. Since there are no electronics used in ACE Massage Cupping, the noise levels are much lower compared to MediCupping VacuTherapy.

One of the biggest differences between ACE Massage Cupping and MediCupping comes down to suction levels. Since suction pressure is done entirely by “feel” when working with manual cups, ACE Massage Cupping cannot utilize an exact suction pressure when performing techniques. While this is okay for many clients, some treatments or conditions will demand a more precise level of suction pressure beyond what manual cups pumped by hand can deliver. We’ll explore the benefits of having a precise suction level a bit more in the MediCupping section.

Pros
  • Easy to operate equipment.
  • Equipment is compact and easily transported.
  • Equipment is easy to clean.
  • Low cost of equipment and accessories.
  • Low noise levels when using equipment.
Cons
  • Hands can get tired due to repeated pumping of cups.
  • Advanced techniques can be more difficult to perform using manual cups.
  • Unable to deliver precise suction PSI using manual cups.

MediCupping VacuTherapy

Electronic Vacuum Therapy Machines and Accessories

MediCupping uses an electronic vacuum cupping therapy machine to create suction. This eliminates the pumping that is normally done by hand when working with traditional manual cups. The adjustable suction on the machine creates a soothing, consistent, and effective treatment without strain on the therapist or client.

MediCupping machines are larger and heavier than the rubber bulbs and pistol hand-pumps used with manual cups, but the cups themselves are of similar size in most cases. The machines we sell aren’t especially large or heavy, but they will require a bit more thought be put into safe transport when traveling to clients. Cleaning the cups is easy, if not easier than cleaning manual cups. However, cleaning the machine itself does require more attention to detail as it is an electronic device that can be damaged by water. To learn more about effective cleaning methods for all of our equipment, view our blog post on Cleaning Cupping Therapy Equipment. The machines we sell are very simple to operate, but can be more intimidating to users wary of electronics. We do include brief instructional videos that go over the basics of operation with all of the machines we sell.

Suction pressure supplied by an electronic vacuum therapy machine is incredibly consistent and precise. Our machines include PSI gauges that will allow the practitioner to monitor and adjust the PSI level during treatment. Some treatments and conditions will demand a precision level more complex than what manual cups pumped by hand can deliver, which is where an electronic vacuum therapy machine really shines This also allows the practitioner to record the suction pressure used for certain clients so that they can be returned to or adjusted up or down during future visits. Having a precise suction level can be crucial when working with clients with especially thin and easily damaged skin, such as clients with certain types of cancer. While not all clients will require such precision, having a device that can work with even the most fragile types of skin can be very valuable.

The final point of consideration when it comes to a vacuum therapy machine is the added noise. These devices use a vacuum pump that produces a noticeable amount of sound while in operation. While the volume level is not terribly high, it could bother or distract certain clients. A comfortable pair of noise-cancelling headphones can be a simple and effective solution to this issue.

Pros
  • Adjustable suction levels.
  • Can be safer on clients with easily-damaged skin.
  • Cups are easy to clean.
  • Significantly less tiresome when performing techniques.
  • Similar cost of accessories such as cups and hoses.
  • Suction levels can be monitored and recorded for use in future sessions.
Cons
  • Cleaning the machine is simple, but water saturation should be avoided.
  • Harder to operate for less tech-savvy practitioners.
  • Higher initial cost of equipment due to needing to purchase a machine.
  • Louder than manual cups.
  • Traveling with a machine and cups is more difficult compared to just manual cups.

In-Person Cupping Therapy Workshops

Best In-Person Cupping Therapy Workshops for Beginners

For students just starting out with cupping therapy, we recommend any of our introductory courses. You’ll want to choose a class that corresponds to the equipment you want to train with. For students looking to work with manual cups and a vacuum therapy machine, we offer a 4-day course that combines ACE Massage Cupping and MediCupping.

ACE Massage Cupping Workshops

MediCupping Workshops

ACE Massage Cupping & MediCupping (combined) Workshops

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Best In-Person Cupping Therapy Workshops for Advanced Users

Cupping Therapy Online Courses

If you can’t make it to an in-person workshop, we highly recommend enrolling in one of our comprehensive online courses. We offer both styles of cupping therapy in online form that are suitable for beginners or existing practitioners who want to brush up on their existing skills at home.

Best Cupping Therapy Online Courses for Beginners

Best Cupping Therapy Online Courses for Advanced Users

Best Manual Cupping Therapy Equipment for 2022

Best ACE Massage Cupping Sets for Beginners

For beginners, we highly recommend purchasing one of the complete kits below. Each kit includes a variety of cups as well as an introductory online course.

Our Favorite ACE Massage Cupping Accessories

Best Vacuum Cupping Therapy Equipment for 2022

Best MediCupping VacuTherapy Machines for Beginners

For beginners, we highly recommend purchasing one of the machines below. Each machine includes a variety of cups, hoses, and an introductory online course.

Our Favorite MediCupping Accessories

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