Different Types of Cupping Therapy: Dry vs. Wet, Fire vs. Non-fire

Cupping therapy is an ancient alternative therapy that involves placing special cups on the skin to create a vacuum. This suction draws up the underlying tissue, potentially promoting blood flow, easing muscle tension, and relieving pain.

A Journey Through Time: The History of Cupping

Cupping therapy boasts a rich and fascinating history, dating back thousands of years. Traces of its practice have been found in ancient Egyptian, Chinese, and Greek civilisations.

  • Ancient Egypt: The Ebers Papyrus, dating back to 1550 BC, mentions cupping therapy for treating headaches and other ailments.
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine: Cupping has been a mainstay of TCM for centuries, believed to balance the flow of qi (vital energy) and address various health concerns.
  • Greek and Roman Medicine: Hippocrates, the father of medicine, and Galen, a renowned Roman physician, both advocated for cupping therapy.

Over time, cupping therapy spread across continents, evolving and adapting to different cultures. Today, it remains a popular complementary therapy in many parts of the world, including Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

Dry Cupping Therapy: A Natural Approach to Pain Relief

Dry cupping is an ancient healing technique that uses glass, bamboo, or silicone cups to draw a gentle suction onto your skin. This suction is believed to improve blood flow, relax muscles, and ease pain. Here's the lowdown:


  1. Cup Placement: Your therapist will place the cups on specific areas of your body, often your back, neck, or shoulders.
  2. Suction Creation: There are two ways to create suction:
    • Heat method: A flame briefly ignites inside the cup, creating a vacuum as the air cools.
    • Pump method: A rubber pump removes air from the cup, creating suction.


  • Improved blood circulation: The suction is thought to pull fresh, oxygen-rich blood to the treated area, promoting healing and reducing inflammation.
  • Pain relief: By improving blood flow and relaxing muscles, dry cupping therapy can ease pain from tight muscles, headaches, and sports injuries.
  • Muscle relaxation: The suction can loosen tight muscles, improving flexibility and range of motion.

Things to remember:

  • Dry cupping can leave circular, reddish marks on your skin, but these should fade within a few days.
  • It's generally safe for most people, but best to consult a healthcare professional if you have any concerns.

Wet Cupping Therapy: A Deeper Dive for Detoxification?

Wet cupping is a more intense version of dry cupping that involves creating small incisions on the skin before applying the cups. This draws blood to the surface, which some believe helps remove toxins and enhance healing. 


  1. Skin incisions: Tiny nicks are made on the skin using a sterile tool.
  2. Cup application: The cups are placed over the incisions and suction is applied using the same methods as dry cupping.
  3. Blood withdrawal: The suction draws blood to the surface of the skin, forming small blisters beneath the cup.

Potential benefits:

  • Detoxification: Proponents believe wet cupping draws out toxins and impurities from the blood. However, scientific evidence supporting this claim is lacking.
  • Enhanced healing: Some suggest it can boost the immune system and promote faster healing, but further research is needed.

Important Considerations:

  • Wet cupping carries a higher risk of infection and scarring compared to dry cupping.
  • It's not recommended for people with certain medical conditions or those taking blood-thinning medications.

Fire Cupping:

  • Procedure: This traditional method uses heat to create the suction. A burning substance like cotton wool is ignited inside the cup to create a vacuum as the air cools. These are then placed on specific areas of the body.
  • Benefits: Many practitioners believe fire cupping stimulates blood flow and reduces inflammation, potentially easing muscle tension and pain.
  • Pointers:
    • Be aware of the risk of burns. Ensure the therapist is experienced and uses proper techniques.
    • This method might not be suitable for individuals with sensitive skin or certain medical conditions.

Non-Fire Cupping:

  • Procedure: This modern version skips the fire and uses mechanical or manual pumps to create the suction. These pumps allow for more controlled, adjustable suction intensity.
  • Benefits: Compared to fire cupping, non-fire cupping offers:

Reduced risk of burns: No open flames mean less chance of skin irritation.

Controlled suction: Adjustable pumps allow for a personalised experience, catering to individual needs and comfort levels.

  • Pointers:
    • While gentler, non-fire cupping might not be as potent as the traditional method for some individuals.
    • Discuss your preferences and medical history with a qualified cupping therapist to determine the best option for you.

Ultimately, the choice between fire and non-fire cupping depends on your individual needs and preferences. Both methods offer similar potential benefits of cupping therapy, though fire cupping carries a slightly higher risk and non-fire cupping allows for more personalised control. Talk to a qualified therapist to determine which option is right for you and to ensure a safe and comfortable experience.

Cupping Therapy: Dry vs. Wet and Fire vs. Non-Fire

Cupping therapy, an ancient practice used in various traditional medicines, involves applying suction cups to the skin to promote healing. But within this simple concept lies a range of variations, primarily differentiated by the presence or absence of bloodletting and the method of creating suction. Let's delve into the key differences between dry and wet cupping, as well as fire and non-fire cupping techniques.

Dry vs. Wet Cupping:

  • Dry Cupping: Imagine a gentle massage with a twist. Dry cupping uses suction to stimulate muscles, improve circulation, and alleviate pain. Think of it as a gateway to cupping, ideal for those seeking relief from aches, stiffness, and even headaches.
  • Wet Cupping: This bolder approach delves deeper, using gentle skin punctures before applying the cups. This draws out a small amount of blood, believed to release toxins and address deeper blockages. While potentially more effective, it's a more intense experience and may not be suitable for everyone.

Fire vs. Non-Fire Cupping:

  • Fire Cupping: Embracing tradition, fire cupping utilizes flames or burning herbs to create the initial suction. This invigorating method is believed to offer deeper detoxification and stimulate stagnant energy. Think "ancient wisdom meeting modern wellness."
  • Non-Fire Cupping: Offering a gentler approach, non-fire cupping relies on pumps, rubber bulbs, or squeezes to create the suction. This method eliminates the fire element, making it ideal for those with sensitive skin or concerns about burns. Think "modern comfort meets ancient practice."

Renuvenate: Your Gateway to Personalised Cupping Therapy in Bromley

At Renuvenate, our dedicated team of practitioners embraces the multifaceted nature of cupping therapy in Bromley. We offer comprehensive consultations to determine the specific type and technique that best aligns with your individual needs and preferences. Whether you're seeking pain relief, deeper detoxification, or improved circulation, our experts will guide you through a personalised cupping experience designed to optimise your well-being.

So, if you're curious about exploring the therapeutic power of cupping therapy, Renuvenate in Bromley stands ready to be your trusted partner. Contact us today and embark on a journey towards holistic wellness, one gentle suction cup at a time.

Remember, cupping therapy, while generally safe, can have side effects. Consult your doctor before starting any new treatment, especially if you have any pre-existing health conditions.

We hope this comprehensive breakdown empowers you to make informed choices when considering cupping therapy. Embrace the power of ancient wisdom blended with modern expertise at Renuvenate and unlock a new chapter in your wellness journey.

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