If you’re considering cupping therapy, you’re probably already familiar with the treatment’s many benefits. Used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years, cupping stimulates blood flow to treat ailments ranging from muscle pain to anxiety to insomnia. As interest in cupping has increased in recent years, the treatment’s telltale marks have been spotted on everyone from Michael Phelps to Gwyneth Paltrow.
But benefits aside, some practical questions remain: How much does cupping cost? And is it really worth the money?
Before beginning any type of treatment, it’s important to do your research and understand the financial commitments, as well as savings opportunities. Not sure where to begin? No worries, we've got you covered – consider this your one-stop guide to cupping costs.
Typical Cupping Therapy Costs Per Session
Like any treatment, cupping costs vary by location and region. Cupping treatments in large metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles and New York will cost more than treatments in small towns.
However, there are some general numbers to keep in mind. On average, cupping therapy sessions tend to cost between $50-$100 per session.
Ways to Save Money on Cupping Therapy
If you’d like to pursue cupping therapy, there are a number of ways to make treatments work within your budget. Cupping therapy requires more than one session, so look for studios that offer discounted bundle pricing or memberships.
At WTHN, we’re proud to offer modern, accessible, competitively priced cupping and acupuncture in New York City, as well as a number of ways to save on treatments. If you’re interested in cupping, consider the following:
- First-Time Client Offer. Offered at a special price of $75, this intro session includes a 45-minute cupping treatment, as well as a 15-minute health assessment to create a personalized treatment plan.
- Memberships. We offer three tiers of memberships to best serve your health needs and goals. Each level offers discounted cupping sessions, free add-on services, discounts on products, and exclusive member events and rewards.
- FSA/HSA Eligibility. Cupping is not usually covered by regular health insurance plans, but you can use other employee health benefits to save on treatments. Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) – which allow employees to set aside pre-tax money for qualified medical expenses and supplies – can be used to pay for cupping and acupuncture sessions. We are also happy to provide receipts for insurance reimbursements!
How Long Do Cupping Therapy Sessions Last?
Cupping therapy sessions typically last anywhere between 30-60 minutes.
At WTHN, our 45-minute sessions are customized to your health needs, and can be combined with acupuncture sessions. Historically, Chinese cupping was performed with glass cups, and a flame created the vacuum. For ease, safety, and accuracy, we use plastic cups and a suction gun at WTHN.
How Often Should You Have Cupping Therapy?
There’s no one-size-fits-all cupping routine. However, to best enjoy the therapy’s benefits, you should plan to have cupping therapy at least once per month.
More often, treatments are recommended bi-weekly or even weekly to enhance circulation and increase the body’s healing responses. This is why memberships or bundle pricing can be especially helpful for budgeting cupping sessions.
How Many Sessions Are Typically Required?
Many people feel the positive effects of cupping after one session. However, it’s important to remember that cupping is not a “quick fix” – the therapy seeks to rebalance and retrain your body’s natural healing processes, with each session building upon the previous one.
After two or three sessions, you should be able to notice real change. The course of your treatment will depend on your individual needs. Chronic conditions may benefit from ongoing cupping therapy, while several sessions could be appropriate to support a muscle strain or injury.
Is Cupping Therapy Worth The Money? Does It Really Work?
Cupping has been practiced for thousands of years, but does it stand up today? While more studies need to be done, existing research shows that the practice does have measurable benefits, especially when it comes to pain management.
A 2010 review of 550 clinical studies found that cupping offered relief from chronic pain conditions, asthma, and other diseases. (Additionally, it concluded that cupping did not cause any serious adverse effects). In 2012, a study by German researchers found that patients with osteoarthritis reported less pain after undergoing cupping therapy. In 2015, another review showed that cupping can provide relief for chronic neck and low back pain.
When considering cost, it’s also worth noting cupping’s whole-body, long-lasting benefits. More than a short-term Band-Aid, the therapy promotes the body’s natural healing abilities, leading to better overall health and wellness. So while it’s initially more expensive than over-the-counter pain relievers or sleep aids, the long-term cost is much lower.
Who Should Try Cupping Therapy?
For most people, cupping is a safe, noninvasive therapy that is free from the side effects of many other forms of pain management. Cupping can be especially helpful for those with the following conditions:
- muscle pain & stiffness
- back & neck pain
- chronic pain conditions
- anxiety & stress
- asthma & respiratory conditions
- immune deficiencies
Additionally, face cupping – which uses smaller, softer cups – can brighten the facial skin and improve circulation.
The primary side effect of cupping is bruising. However, unlike bruises resulting from injuries, skin discolorations from cupping aren’t painful, and some people don’t experience them at all. Increased hydration, massage, or an Epsom salt soak can make them fade faster.
Cupping is an investment in your health – and like any investment, it’s important to understand the numbers, risks, and rewards. Before booking an appointment, be sure to do your research on both the therapy and the provider – after all, not all cupping is created (or priced) equally!
At WTHN, we’re dedicated to providing an elevated experience at an affordable rate. We’re proud to offer membership plans to make our therapies accessible, customized treatment plans to address your specific health needs, and highly trained healers to guide you on your wellness journey. If you decide cupping is right for you, we look forward to helping you enjoy the many benefits of cupping and Traditional Chinese Medicine.