How Cupping Can Help Mental Health

How cupping therapy affects mental health

Feature Image by Erins Inside Job

Taking care of your mental health looks different for everyone, but at Aligned One Wellness, we are keen on adding body-focused treatments to the wellness mix. Cupping therapy is something we proudly boast as a personal favourite mind and body treatment for helping with mental health. With its rich history in ancient Eastern medicine and its recent dedicated research showing the medical benefits we already trusted, cupping is a powerful tool for bettering your mind and body. Cupping can help with mental health in many ways, each linked to the connectedness of the mind and body. With a consistent goal of holistic wellness, your mental health will flourish.

Cupping is the practice of applying localized suction on the skin with the application of heated (or suction only) cups. It is intended to create circulation in the treated areas, which engages the parasympathetic nervous system and promotes deep relaxation. These benefits can be felt within the body, often used to help with pain management, relaxation, blood flow, reduction of inflammation, and much more. Not so commonly discussed, these physical attributes of cupping therapy have a direct impact on the mind. Cupping, when paired with a holistic approach to the mind, body, and soul, can be a great tool in your belt of mental health care.

The History of Cupping

This alternative medicine practice can be traced back to ancient Chinese, Egyptian, and Middle Eastern Cultures. It has historically been known for its powerful myofascial decompression, and is now presently being studied for its data-driven effects on our bodies. Before Western medicine got involved, cupping has always been believed to have curing powers for pain and suffering. Although practiced in different regions of the world, there is no definitive origin of the practice. Its spiritual and healing purposes vary by culture and geographic location, but its intent remains the same — cupping has long been a form of deep care for the body and mind.

Traced in our history through ancient pictographs, known herbalists, and spiritual lore, cupping is finally receiving its deserving limelight in our Western medicine world. A healing art practiced by centuries of herbalists, doctors, and healers, its fascinating origins lead to telling conclusions about just how impactful this treatment form can be. Held onto by generations of Eastern cultures and their belief in its healing powers, cupping therapy has concluded itself to be a valued practice for the human body. 


history of cupping therapy

What Happens in your Body After Cupping

Western medicine is now putting in the work to research the medical effects of cupping. The recent research about its benefits is starting to become more popular in scientific journals and Western medical practices. In a 2018 review of studies, participants reported benefits from cupping therapy for both localized and/or systematic issues. This same study concluded that the effects of cupping treatment can help with pain, improve metabolism, reduce inflammation, and boost cellular immunity. With Western medicine only recently catching up with this ancient practice, these studies are imperative to improving accessibility and awareness of cupping as a viable resource for those looking for localized treatment.

Now that the practice is becoming more widely studied and accepted, practitioners are starting to lean on cupping therapy for interconnected treatment of localized and systemic symptoms in patients. In Toronto, we have gleefully seen an influx of holistic practitioners offering cupping therapy and other forms of alternative medicine, meaning we are on track to a world in which these powerful treatments and holistic mindset can be accessible to all. With the body’s wellness so closely connected to your brain, it is no surprise that these physical functions of cupping relay effortlessly into a mental health resource.

What Happens in your Brain After Cupping

In holistic healthcare, the deeply rooted connection of the mind and body are at the forefront of any and all treatment. How your body is responding to stress, grief, and trauma will have an impact on how your brain can handle it. On the other hand, how your brain responds to things like joy, fulfilment, and positive energy will translate to your body in the same manner. When your body is in alignment, your brain has an easier time following suit.

The relaxation and reduced muscle tension received from cupping treatments will have a direct correlation to your mind’s ability to find the same peace. When your brain is busy mending the pain and discomfort within your body, it does not have the capacity to focus on positive mental health and healthy emotional processing.

New research is beginning to show the interconnectedness of the mind and body. New studies are even diving deeper into the topographical mapping of which emotions are felt in which areas of the body. Up until now, it was commonly believed that emotions and stress started in the mind, and our bodies followed suit through symptoms like slouching, tense muscles, pounding heart, etc. This new research is starting to show us that emotional intensities are starting within the body; such as a pounding heart responding to an environmental trigger, therefore translating to your brain to feel stress or anxiety in that moment.

Your inner narrative is often dictated by your body’s physical state of being. This is why tapping into the wisdom within your body through physical treatments and intentional care is so important for your mental health. Body movement and manipulation communicate to your mind that relaxation and energy revitalization are present and important.

These connections, although seemingly small, can cause an imbalance between your body and your mind, and take a toll on your mental and physical health if not addressed. Your body and your mind need to be taken care of in tandem.


what happens in the mind and body after cupping therapy


With treatments like cupping therapy, it becomes instantly apparent how closely interconnected your body is to your mind. Treating localized body pains, promoting circulation and blood flow, and allowing for full-body relaxation, cupping will translate the care you are giving your body directly to your brain.

At Aligned One Wellness, we see the impact of these services every day. Through our registered massage therapy treatments, a practice with similar intent and outcomes, we see our clients through this mind and body transformation. A holistic approach to mental health care looks different for everybody. Our goal is to help you understand what your body needs so that it can take care of your mind, and be the guiding friend that helps you find what your mind needs so that we can align our body treatments with your goals. Understanding the alignment of mind, body, and soul is the first step. With mental health in mind, treatment opportunities are endless, and your body’s relief and care will allow your mind to follow.