In this article, I thought I would cover some cupping aftercare as I see quite a lot of questions coming up about what the do’s and don’ts are after having a cupping session.
What Is Cupping Therapy?
Cupping therapy, also known as Ventosa and Hijama therapy, is a form of massage therapy with its roots in Chinese medicine and is practised all over the world today.
Keeping it basic, cupping involves placing cups on the skin and then using a flammable material to draw the air out and create a vacuum.
This raises the skin under the cup and causes the blood vessels to expand. I won’t go into the benefits in detail here, I’ve covered that before. But it’s a treatment used to treat skin conditions, sporting injuries, and other general health and wellness issues.
Cupping Aftercare: The Do’s and Don’ts After Cupping Therapy
What Not to Do After Cupping (Do’s and Don’ts of Hijama / Ventosa)
I will go into these points in more depth throughout this article, but as a snapshot here are the things you shouldn’t do after cupping:
What you should do:
It’s no surprise but doing the opposite of the above will give you the best results and quickest recovery, so:
- Rest up, don’t do any strenuous activities or exercise
- Drink plenty of fresh water, keep away from alcohol, coffee, or other diuretics
- Look after the area that was worked on. Keep the cupping marks out of sunlight, water, and avoid friction
Why Can’t You Shower After Cupping?
It’s advisable you don’t shower after you’ve had a cupping session because the skin that was treated is going to be sensitive, and the pores will still be open.
Open pores mean that you’re more susceptible to infection though pathogens getting into your skin, so you should be exposing the area to sunlight, water, or allowing anything to rub it.
If you want to clean the area just spot clean or dab at it with a damp sponge.
Can I Take a Bath After Ventosa?
Nope. For all the same reasons as why you can’t shower after cupping as covered in the point above.
Feeling Sick After Cupping?
If you feel sick, nauseous, have a headache, or are experiencing flu-like symptoms after your cupping session this is not uncommon, and it’s nothing to worry about.
It’s usually due to the increased amount of metabolic waste and toxins being flushed out of your body.
This is why you’ll be advised to drink plenty of water and rest up afterward. It helps your body use its energy where it’s needed and you’ll be feeling great in no time.
Can You Drink Alcohol After Cupping?
You can drink after cupping, but it’s certainly not advised. Alcohol dehydrates the body, which is the opposite of what you want after any form of massage.
You should be drinking plenty of water and keeping yourself well hydrated. This helps your body recover faster from the session.
Cupping stimulates blood flow to the area being treated, as well as giving your lymphatic function a kick-start to flush more harmful toxins from your body.
Both of which are aided by an intake of fresh water and both are hindered by the intake of alcohol.
It’s a clear-cut answer. Stay away from drinking for at least a day. Give your body every chance to heal as quickly as possible and you’ll feel better for it.
Can You Exercise After Cupping?
It’s not a good idea to exercise after a cupping session. Or after any form of massage therapy for that matter.
The best thing you can do is give your body plenty of rest to recover. You’re likely to feel tired after treatment, especially if it’s your first session.
This is because cupping increases blood flow to the area being treated. Which brings more oxygen and nutrients to the tissues, giving your body some extra work and zapping some of your energy.
Another reason not to exercise is to protect the skin that has been treated from external pathogens.
The pores will be open for several hours after being cupped and the skin will feel tender as it’s been in a hot vacuum.
So the rubbing of gym clothes, sweat, the blood pumping through your muscles is only going to prolong the healing.
Not to mention it’s also not advisable to shower or take a bath after cupping, to you’re going to be sweaty from exercising and feel uncomfortable.
Cupping is a wonderful form of massage therapy. I had a really profound feeling when I thought about how deep the history of cupping is and was mindful about how it felt.
As with any form of massage you get as much out of the treatments as you put in. If you look after yourself afterward and follow of the aftercare advice in this article you’ll feel the powerful health benefits of cupping.
I’m a MA, (CMT) Certified Massage Therapist, Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), and Reiki Master — I’m a licensed massage therapist with over 10 years of experience in the industry.