Cupping -

dry and wet (Hijama)

Dry Cupping

The basic idea behind cupping therapy is to place glass cups or silicone cups on the patient’s skin to create a vacuum, so the blood is drawn to the surface of the skin in specific parts of the body that need healing. Traditional Chinese practitioners discuss different areas, or meridians, of the body that are used to transfer energy. They believe each body has twelve different meridians and treatment can be applied to each meridian for a myriad of reasons.

Three different traditional cupping methods are being used at MCR Therapies. These methods include dry cupping, wet cupping, and massage cupping.

During a dry cupping session, the glass cup or vessel is set on fire using a flammable substance such as alcohol. The fire begins to go out, and we place the glass therapy cup on the surface of the patient’s skin.

As the therapy cup cools, it creates a vacuum or suction. The skin will rise into the glass cup and will begin to redden. Typically, these glass or silicone cups are set in place for up to three minutes at a time. But some treatments require longer times and can last up to twenty - thirty minutes.

Dry cupping produces a low amount of pressure. The cups are better suited for use on the softer tissue so that a secure and tight seal is allowed against the skin. The skin may also be lubricated so that the cups can be moved around from one area to a larger area.

Wet (Hijama) Cupping

Wet cupping produces a milder suction or vacuum and can also be kept in place for up to three minutes like dry cupping therapy. However, during a wet cupping therapy session, we will make small cuts on the patient’s skin, typically by using a sterilized scalpel and then perform a second cupping session to draw out some of the blood. It can take up to ten days for the patient’s skin to return to normal after a wet cupping therapy session. It is important that the skin is cleaned before and after a wet cupping therapy session so that any risk of infection can be avoided therefore, we will be using either iodine, alcohol or octenidine based solution depending on patients' skin condition and allergy status.

In Arabic culture, wet cupping is also known as Hijama or medicinal bleeding. Wet cupping is popular in most Muslim areas of the world and has been reported to be used by the Islamic prophet, Muhammed.

In Chinese culture, the cupping methods are used to help improve respiratory ailments such as pneumonia and bronchitis, along with the common cold and other chest infections.

Wet cupping is a form of bloodletting and is used to remove stagnant blood, expel heat, and provide pain relief. It is imperative that the environment in which the wet cupping therapy is performed is clean and sterilized to prevent infection to the treatment sites.

Massage Cupping

During massage cupping, the alternative medicine practitioner can move the cups around and glide them across your skin, and it is recognized as a form of massage therapy. Massage Cupping has also been used for weight loss and cellulite reduction. Silicone therapy cups are more typically used for this form of cupping therapy because these therapy cups are softer and more flexible which makes it easier for the practitioner to glide them across the patient’s body.

In massage cupping therapy, the muscles are tended to with the application of pressure. Negative pressure is better to help with pain management than tissue compression. With the cupping therapy method, the skin, tissue, and muscles are instead pulled upwards to enhance circulation and provide pain management.

Massage cupping therapy also utilises different oils so that the cup can glide easily across the back of the patient. Massage cupping is considered an alternative medicine to help with pain management and induces feelings of relaxation and stress relief to ease tension.


At MCT Therapies we only use glass, rubber or silicone cups.

For wet cupping we only use glass cups that we sterilise with dry heat at 250 C to have the cups sterile and free of pyrogens. This is the most reliable way of making sure you do not have any contact with any pathogens whatsoever.

Our rubber cups are sterilised with live steam and are only used for dry cupping and massage with cups.

Our silicone cups are used for patients allergic to latex and are also sterilised with live steam.