Cupping Therapy: How Can This Help You Surpass COPD?

Cupping is amazing. It feels awesome. I love getting cupping and I love treating with cupping.

What is cupping and what does it actually do?

Cupping is where glass cups are applied to the skin. I use fire to remove the oxygen from the inside of the cup, this creates a vacuum so that when the cup is placed on the skin suction occurs. This suction separates the layers of skin and muscle and allowing blood and oxygen to flow. The space created by the suction also allows toxins to be pulled out and brought to the surface where the lymphatic system (the circulating body fluid that assists our immune system) can remove them.

The marks left by cupping are not a bruises but an indication of the stagnation hiding below the surface. The marks can range in colour from dark purple to yellow and fade within days to weeks. These marks lessen with each subsequent application of cups over the same area as the stagnation is resolved1. Cupping is harmless and does not cause any adverse side effects, additionally; the results are often fast2, 4.

Cupping can be beneficial for those with a Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)3. The phlegm build-up that is often experienced can be broken up and relieved with cupping over the lung area. Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Medicine are a great conjunct to cupping therapy in treating airway diseases. I personally have experienced much relief from cupping to address phlegm, wheezing and coughing when using these therapies in combination to treat my symptoms of asthma. I also find that the calmness and relaxation experienced with Chinese Medicine helps reduce my symptoms. Cupping is great for relaxing the muscles, so you can breathe easier with shoulders and chest that are not strained and tensed up. Cupping promotes the body’s self-healing abilities so that it can fight the too readily encountered respiratory illnesses4.

In his book, Manz (2009) states: “There is no other disease where the therapist succeeds as quickly as in diseases of the respiratory organs. Hence, these are the true domain of cupping”. With muscle relaxation, break-up of phlegm, improvements to our immune system and relaxation, who wouldn’t want cupping?!

Written by:

Dr Kate Howden


Dr. Kate Howden has been carefully selected to cover most of Dr. Elaine Hickman’s shifts while Elaine is on maternity leave. Elaine is confident that you’ll be well looked after by Kate.

Dr. Kate Howden is an empathetic and caring practitioner, with over a decade of nursing experience, in both general and psychiatric nursing. And now years of experience as a Chinese Medicine practitioner. She takes a holistic approach to client care and loves seeing people feel better about themselves.

Kate has a particular passion for women’s health. She is a mother with her own children and stepchildren and understands the many challenges women face. Kate also has experience in treating withdrawal from drug and alcohol addiction.

She enjoys regular games of netball and long walks with her partner.


1Bentley, B 2015, ‘A Cupping Mark is not a Bruise’, The Lantern vol. 12 no. 2, pp. 14-20.

2Constantin, PI, ‘Cupping Therapy’, Scribd.

3Chirali, I 1991, ‘Practical Guide to Cupping Therapy’, Journal of Chinese Medicine no. 37, pp. 21-26.

4Manz, H 2009, ‘The Art of Cupping’, Thieme, Stuttgart.

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