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What To Expect After Cupping Therapy: Recovery Processes and More

WTHN Team/25.04.21

What To Expect After Cupping Therapy: Recovery Processes and More

If you’re preparing for your first cupping therapy, it’s normal to be apprehensive. Don’t worry, not only do we know you’ll enjoy the process, we know the benefits will have you coming back for more. 

To put your mind at ease, we’ve compiled all the information you need to be prepared for your session and take care of yourself once it’s complete.

It’s worth noting that if you’re using our Face Cupping Kit or Body Cupping Kit versus getting a full-fledged cupping session across your body, you may not experience side effects to the same degree. Make sure to read through the instructions provided in your kit for the best info!

What is Cupping Therapy?

Cupping therapy involves the use of cups to create suction on your skin. This suction stimulates muscle and fascia tissue, increases blood flow, and helps relieve tension

Your therapist will create a vacuum on your skin with the cups by either heating them or using a manual pump. The cups look like large, round light bulbs with wide mouths. When the cup is placed on your skin, the natural vacuum draws your skin in to begin the cupping therapy. 

After your session is over (about five to ten minutes) your therapist will remove the cups. 

What Should I Do After Cupping Therapy?

When your session is over, you may feel the same as before your session started. You may also feel a bit lightheaded. Here’s what you should do no matter how you feel. 


It’s important that you increase your water intake after your cupping therapy. You’ve just moved around a lot of built up toxins in your body, and your body will need water to help flush out your lymphatic system and fully remove the toxins from your body. 

Stay Warm

It’s normal to feel a little feverish after a cupping session. When you loosen the built up toxins in your body, they are carried by the blood to your lymphatic system for removal. This is essentially the same process your body goes through when you are battling a minor illness like a cold. 

Cupping also helps open your pores, which can make you feel cooler than normal. 

Get Enough Sleep

Just as previously mentioned, it is normal to feel a little fatigued and under the weather due to the removal of toxins from your body. Don’t fight the urge to rest; this is a natural part of your body removing toxins and feeling better. Rest is essential.

Cover Treated Areas

The areas of your skin where the cups were placed will have red marks that range from light pink to deep red depending on the amount of negative pressure that was applied. 

Your therapist will likely cover these marks to ensure they are able to return to normal without the interference of external stressors like sun, dirt, and pollution. 

What Should I Avoid After Cupping Therapy?

To make sure you get the most from your treatment, you should avoid the following items for at least 4-6 hours post treatment. 


Caffeine can have a negative effect on the body, and can completely negate the release of tension provided by cupping. It’s best to avoid caffeine for as long as possible after your session. 


If you are planning cupping therapy, it’s best to reschedule your wine night for another time. Alcohol has to be processed by your body. Your body has to actively remove the toxins in alcohol from your blood, which can interfere with the detoxifying effect of your cupping session. 


It goes without saying, sugar isn’t good for us. Sugar is another ingredient our bodies must process and store. Eating sugar after a cupping session can put your cupping detox on pause and demand the attention of  your cells on processing glucose. 

Meat and Dairy

The hormones found in meat and dairy products should be avoided after your cupping session to ensure they don’t cause a rise or fall in your own natural hormone levels. Cupping helps to restore your body’s natural balance. Eating these foods could interfere with that process.

Extreme Heat or Cold

As previously mentioned, cupping helps open the pores and stimulate muscle and fascia tissue. Exposing yourself to extreme temperatures can damage the release of tension in these areas, causing stiffness, aching, and pain. 

Intense Exercise

The span of time immediately after your cupping session isn’t great for exercise. If you need to move, an easy walk or light stretching is acceptable, but because your body is actively detoxing, you’ll need to conserve your energy for that process. 

How Do I Make the Marks Go Away?

Cupping leaves marks; it’s part of the process. Normally, they will disappear in a day or two. Keep them covered with the bandages your provider used and contact them if they are still visible after four days. 

What Are Common Side Effects of Cupping Therapy?

Usually, you won’t have any side effects from cupping therapy, however it is normal to experience them. Here are the most common side effects you can experience. 


You may feel tired, lethargic, or like you need a nap after your cupping session. This is completely normal, and it’s important that you don’t ignore your body’s cues for rest. 


Mild headaches can be common from cupping therapy, but they usually dissipate within an hour. Avoid the urge to take medication, as this can interfere with your body’s natural detox. 

Body Aches

You may experience mild body aches (similar to the kind you get when you have the flu) after your cupping session. If so, using a heating pad or doing light stretching can help relieve tension.


If you feel lightheaded after your cupping session, make sure you wait before you drive home! While this is a normal side effect, you should listen to your body and rest.

Why Do I Have These Side Effects?

Cupping pulls built up toxins from your body by increasing blood flow and helping remove the toxins to your lymphatic system. This may leave you feeling like you have a mild cold, but these symptoms normally last a few hours total, and are a sign your session was effective. 

How Can I Alleviate These Symptoms?

Time helps these symptoms best. They are very short lived and necessary for your body to effectively detox. The best remedy for alleviating symptoms is to rest and drink plenty of fluids. 

The Takeaway

Cupping is a great way to help detox your body and feel better. The process isn’t painful, but you might experience some side effects once it is done. Be gentle with your body and rest as needed so your therapy has a chance to be as effective as possible. If you have additional questions, make sure to ask your healer during your next cupping therapy session.


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6435947/ 
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3136528/ 
  3. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/what-exactly-is-cupping-2016093010402 
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