The 8 Best Cupping Sets

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This wiki has been updated 28 times since it was first published in February of 2016. Cupping is an ancient form of muscle therapy that has become popular in recent years with professional athletes and other people seeking alternative massage treatments. Some who use these suction sets at home say they help relieve various physical ailments and foster a general sense of well-being. For safety’s sake, always check with your doctor before you decide to use them. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Lure Essentials Edge System

2. Hansol Professional

3. New Body Life Anti Cellulite

Editor's Notes

December 03, 2020:

Today we added in the AcuZone 12 Piece, which is made up of three sizes and is well suited for anyone who wishes to pursue traditional cupping that involves warming the jars with a flame prior to use. Their textured finger grips help keep them firmly situated in the hand, and the flat edges help ensure a strong suction. They’re made of thick glass and have been known to drop without breaking. This set replaces the similar Acu Supply 12 Piece, which is unavailable at this time. Also added to the list is the New Body Life Anti Cellulite, a popular, simple kit that consists of a small and a large silicone cup, as well as a handheld brush that’s good for massaging and exfoliating the skin. They come with a drawstring pouch that makes them easy to store or take with you. One cup measures just over three inches in height, whereas the other stands just under two inches tall. Their silicone construction is nontoxic, hypoallergenic, and does not contain PVC. The face of the brush can be removed easily for cleaning. It replaces the Newkey 2-in-1, a tool that incorporated both cupping and gua sha massage capabilities, which is unavailable at this time.

For a highly popular, simple choice that doesn’t require heating or pumps, look to the Lure Essentials Edge System, which consists of four blue silicone cups that achieve proper suction just through pressure. They’re easy to use on yourself and come in a variety of sizes that make them suitable for use on different body parts. If you prefer a set that includes a hand pump and many different sizes of cups, check out the Korean-made Hansol Professional, which also comes with removable red pressure point stimulators. Everything comes in a well-organized hard carrying case. While cupping has been practiced for centuries in countries such as China and is thought to have therapeutic benefits, be sure to talk with your doctor to understand any risks and side effects before you choose to purchase and use a set.

November 26, 2019:

Although cupping has been around for centuries in China and other countries, it was relatively unknown in some parts of the world until 2016. That was when Michael Phelps was spotted with round welts on his back during the Olympics, and the resulting media coverage explained this practice to the Western world. During a treatment, glass or silicone cups are applied to the skin, and a vacuum is then created that raises the enclosed skin. The goal is to increase circulation and provide various other believed benefits, including pain relief, relaxation, and respiratory and digestive health. The selection featured here includes one glass model, the Acu Supply 12 Piece which, because of its makeup, can be warmed with a flame prior to application (which is how cupping was traditionally practiced). Most of the others on our list are made from silicone that forms a suction manually – like the Lure Essentials Edge System – or through a vacuum pump – like the Yosoo Chinese Set.

New to our selection is the Newkey 2-in-1, which is unique compared to the rest on the list, as it’s a handled, 2-in-1 model that can provide cupping suction as well as perform a massage called gua sha, in which a scraping technique is applied to the back. This is said to improve one’s circulation. Unlike the others on the list, this electronic gadget is battery operated, and comes with a USB charging cable. Its control panel features LED lights that indicate its status, and you can change the intensity of its vacuum suction as well as its heating element.

For your safety, you should consult with your physician before you begin using any of these devices, especially if you have skin conditions or medical conditions such as heart disease. They should not be used by children or given to them to play with.

Special Honors

EarthSpa Bells Each glass cup of this set is individually handblown by artisans in the Pacific Northwest. They feature thick walls for weight and durability, and their long length makes them easy to handle. They’re designed to fit well in otherwise hard-to-access areas like on the hands and feet, behind the ears, and between the ulna and radius. They glide smoothly, which also makes them well suited for the underarm areas and the neck. You’ll receive three cups in staggered sizes and bulbs to provide suction.

Cup N Stim This set combines cupping and TENS therapy, and each cup can be connected to any TENS pin lead wire for added stimulation. Included are two semi-transparent cups in your choice of 3-, 4.5-, or 6-centimeter diameter sizes. They adhere to the body easily with the push of a finger, without the need for hand pumps or fire. They can be sterilized in boiling water.

4. Cupping Warehouse Supreme 8

5. AcuZone 12 Piece

6. Yosoo Chinese Set

7. Endiglow Silicone

8. DoSensePro Medical Grade

Cupping Therapy: The New Standard For Pain Treatment?

This soft tissue therapy also stimulates the central nervous system.

Cupping therapy has been used effectively in China for thousands of years. By creating negative pressure in a cupping set before applying them to the skin, the therapy helps to draw blood to the areas where the cups are placed. The practice was originally used to draw out blood and pus from the boils of the sick; though practitioners quickly realized this drawing effect could benefit the body as a whole.

When people turn to alternative therapies to cure their symptoms, they are likely trying to avoid chemical medicines and the side effects associated with them. This is especially true for chronic pain; as standard treatment options include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs(NSAIDS), which have been studied to have some undesirable long term side effects.

For people with chronic back pain, cupping treatment may provide much needed relief. A systematic review on cupping therapy found that cupping reduced pain significantly more than standard treatment options like NSAIDs. That same review also found that cancer patients responded better to cupping therapy than to anticancer drugs and analgesics.

Utilizing cupping therapy is said to release deep tissues of the body, relax tight muscles, help break up the fascia, and ease the stiffness associated with musculoskeletal disorders. As blood flow increases to the area being treated, these tissues receive much needed oxygen and nutrients.

This soft tissue therapy also stimulates the central nervous system. As such, the cups are often placed on pressure points responsible for pain. Researchers in a recent meta analysis aimed to determine the antinociceptive efficacy of traditional cupping therapy by comparing results from sixteen separate studies on the topic. They found that cupping therapy reduces pain more effectively than many other options; including heat therapy and conventional drugs. For people searching for natural remedies to chronic pain, cupping therapy may be the most effective treatment there is.

Can Cupping Therapy Heal The Immune System?

Cupping stimulates the flow of qi, blood, and other bodily fluids such as lymph. Cupping also opens the pores of the body, facilitating the removal of pathogens through the skin itself. Given these functions, it follows that cupping has been used for years to help empower the immune system to heal itself.

These tissues act to influence the immune system through controlling things like intestinal permeability, antigen creation, and stimulating the intestinal mucosa.

Through stimulating the movement of the bodily fluids, cupping therapy can actually help improve immune function. Cupping therapy has proved especially useful for replenishing the respiratory system by stimulating the lungs to clear away congestion and break up phlegm. For this reason it is commonly used to help speed healing times in various respiratory disorders such as colds and coughs, and even more serious conditions such as tuberculosis.

The digestive system plays an important role in overall immune health. In fact, over 70 percent of the immune system is located in the gut in the form of gut-associated lymphoid tissue. These tissues act to influence the immune system through controlling things like intestinal permeability, antigen creation, and stimulating the intestinal mucosa. As it plays such a large role in keeping the body healthy, it is important to keep the digestive system operating as it should.

By utilizing alternative methods such as cupping therapy and acupuncture, the digestive system can be brought into harmony. Many people suffering with irritable bowel syndrome note an amelioration in symptoms. This is likely due to the stress reduction caused by increased blood oxygenation and qi stimulation in the body.

The History Of Cupping Therapy

Though cupping therapy is considered a traditional Chinese therapy, the earliest record of cupping was actually found on the Ebers Papyrus, discovered in Egypt. Other ancient texts mention the art of cupping, but the Ebers Papyrus reference means the practice of cupping is over three thousand years old.

The process was mentioned by the famous physician Hippocrates, who mentioned the practice of Persian cupping, called Hijama.

In texts from various cultures throughout history, we have learned that cupping therapy has been widely practiced for centuries. The Egyptians likely introduced the practice to the Greeks, Jews, and Romans; who all used cupping to cleanse the blood of impurities. The process was mentioned by the famous physician Hippocrates, who mentioned the practice of Persian cupping, called Hijama.

The clinical applications of cupping have become very wide thanks to thousands of years of practice. In the modern era, Chinese medicine cupping is used to treat asthma, painful arthritis symptoms, muscle soreness, chronic cough, digestive problems, immune disorders and even skin conditions.

The cups themselves have evolved over the years as well. The original cupping sets were actually hollow animal horns; giving rise to the name horn therapy. Cups made from large bamboo ends soon followed, and then glass. Modern technological advancements have produced cups with integrated suction cups and even mechanized pumps to create suction; though the most common are the simple glass cupping sets.

As many people in the modern era seek holistic therapies to deal with their health problems, the use of traditional Chinese medicine practices like cupping is increasing. The study of cupping has given rise to western medicinal practices such as the effective use of negative pressure wound therapy for patients with infections or postoperative wounds.

Karen Bennett
Last updated by Karen Bennett

Karen Bennett lives in Chicago with her family, and when she’s not writing, she can usually be found practicing yoga or cheering on her kids at soccer games. She holds a master’s degree in journalism and a bachelor’s in English, and her writing has been published in various local newspapers, as well as “The Cheat Sheet,” “Illinois Legal Times,” and “USA Today.” She has also written search engine news page headlines and worked as a product manager for a digital marketing company. Her expertise is in literature, nonfiction, textbooks, home products, kids' games and toys, hardware, teaching accessories, and art materials.

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