Wellness dictionary

Little ABC for your spa-break questions ...

In their treatment discriptions, wellness hotels often use technical terms, which are hard to understand for potential guests. We have therefore collected and defined the most relevant terms in our small wellness ABC. A tip: Our wellness dictionary also supports word requests. You don't need to know the exact wording.


Cupping - What does it mean?

The term "cupping" has developed from the Old High German word "screfan". This means something like "scratching" or "setting an injury". Cupping is one of the oldest healing methods; the first historical evidence of the use of cupping was found as an emblem on a doctor's seal from around 3,300 BC in Mesopotamia. 

The cupping treatment is one of the cupping procedures. It means the local drainage of blood by means of a cupping head placed on the skin.

How is cupping performed and what does it do?

The resulting negative pressure increases the blood supply to the treated areas of skin (bloodless cupping, cupping massage) or causes blood to be drained (bloody cupping). The cupping heads are usually bell-shaped cups made of glass or plastic with a diameter of about five to ten centimetres.  A vacuum is created in the cupping cups with the help of a balloon or vacuum device. The cupping treatment is intended to remove harmful substances from the body, release tension or restore the energy balance in the body.

Are there different cupping methods?

Bloodless cupping

With bloodless cupping, the area to be treated is warmed up with red light before treatment. Then six to ten cupping heads are placed on the skin, usually on the back along the spine. The negative pressure causes the fine blood capillaries of the skin to dilate and after a few minutes first bruises and then bruises appear. If the cupping glasses remain on the skin longer, bloody blisters can also develop. The treatment takes ten to fifteen minutes.

The cupping massage

The cupping massage is a variation of bloodless cupping. First the skin on the back is oiled. The practitioner pushes a small cupping bell back and forth on this area. The treatment is stopped as soon as the skin reddens, indicating increased blood circulation. No bruising occurs during the cupping massage. It is used exclusively for cosmetic treatments.

Bloody cupping

For bloody cupping, the skin is incised crosswise. After cupping, the cupping heads from the incisions fill with blood. Within ten to twenty minutes, about fifty millilitres of blood are drained from each cupping head in this way. The treatment is painful and the skin is injured without medical necessity.

Despite the long tradition of cupping, there is no evidence of its effectiveness.

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