What is Cupping?

Relatively unknown to most people living in the West until recently, cupping therapy is an alternative therapeutic method that has been popular in China since around 1000 B.C. Some records show that variations of cupping practices might actually be much older — possibly dating as far back as 3000 B.C. And for good reason. Cupping therapy has a host of health benefits that can often outweigh modern medicine techniques.

One of the biggest advantages to trying alternative practices like cupping therapy, acupuncture or massage therapy is that these methods don’t pose the risk for unwanted side effects like pharmacological drugs or surgery do.

In fact, there’s really no downside to trying alternative practices like cupping, since studies show they can help boost immune function and speed up healing time without the use of any medications or even herbs. These are just some of the benefits of cupping therapy.

Cupping involves placing glass, silicone, bamboo, or plastic jars on the skin and creating a vacuum by suctioning out the air. The underlying tissue is raised, or suctioned, partway into the cup. The purpose of cupping is to enhance circulation, help relieve pain, remove “heat” and pull out the toxins that linger in your body’s tissues.

One way to think about cupping is that it is the inverse of massage. Rather than applying pressure to muscles, the suction uses pressure to pull skin, tissue and muscles upward. Clients often combine cupping with acupuncture as one treatment, but cupping can also be scheduled as a single service.

Cupping has numerous benefits — it can help remove toxins from the body and stimulate the flow of fresh blood, lymph, and Qi to the affected area and throughout the body. It often works wonders for patients with the flu, colds, coughs, back and muscle pain, poor circulation, fevers, aches and myriad of other pains.

Carey Velenchenko, Acupuncturist, Master of Chinese Medicine (Minnetonka)

Carey Velenchenko is Sunu’s Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner, practicing Acupuncture, Cupping, and Chinese Herbal Medicine. She has had 19 years of experience treating clients in a wide variety of settings including: private practice, and adolescent and adult residential programming for the treatment of eating disorders. Carey’s experience has given her the necessary tools and wisdom to treat a wide variety of conditions and symptoms including but not limited to depression, anxiety, digestive issues, pain and injuries, menstrual irregularities, fertility, autoimmune disorders, headaches and migraines, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and menopausal discomfort.

Read more about Carey.


Adrienne Suess, AcupuncturistAdrienne Suess offers acupuncture services at our Minnetonka location. She has a deep appreciation for holistic health traditions and methods. She brings a wealth of knowledge, and experience to the SuNu Community. Adrienne connects with her clients and serves with a confidence that’s efficient and effective, while also offering a tenderness and authenticity that ensures a safe and calming experience conducive to healing. If you’re interested in acupuncture, fire cupping, craniosacral therapy and/or perinatal and pediatric care, Adrienne is a wonderful resource.

Read more about Adrienne.