Does Cupping Therapy Remove Toxins From Your System?

If you closely follow your favorite athletes on social media, then you may have at some point noticed a series of circular bruises on their body — perhaps a pattern of these marks up and down their back — when they post pictures of themselves on their social feeds. These mysterious marks are not an injury; they are the marks of an ancient form of alternative medicine that has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments. Cupping therapy is a traditional Egyptian and Chinese form of medicine that places cups over an area of skin to create negative pressure, thus sucking the skin up into the cup (per StatPearls). 

According to Cleveland Cliniccupping therapy is commonly used to treat various forms of pain in the back, neck, and even the head. In addition to alleviating pain, cupping therapy is also used to treat arthritis, asthma, joint pain, irritable bowel disease (IBD), and even migraines. Different types of cups used for cupping therapy include bamboo, ceramic, glass, and plastic. 

You might wonder if cupping therapy can help remove toxins from your system. Here's everything you need to know about the different kinds of cupping therapy and whether or not it can help remove toxins.

Here's how cupping therapy may help remove toxins

According to Cleveland Clinic, there are two main forms of cupping therapy: wet and dry. Dry cupping uses heat to create suction inside of the cup, which expels oxygen from the cup and sucks the skin up. As your blood vessels expand, you may notice your skin begin to turn red. The cups are usually left on the target area for three minutes. WebMD notes that beginners typically get three to five cups for their first session. Your skin should return to its normal color in about 10 days.

On the other hand, wet cupping involves the use of a needle to penetrate the skin before the application of the cup, reports Cleveland Clinic. Wet cupping is theorized to actually help with removing toxins for a number of reasons. For example, wet cupping is thought to act as an artificial kidney by filtering through suction. The cupping procedure increases blood volume and thus expels fluid that can contain toxins. In all, wet cupping is thought to stimulate the immune response, remove toxins, and even improve oxygen availability (per StatPearls). 

If you are interested in cupping therapy, talk to your doctor first to make sure that it is a safe option for you.