Cupping for Neck Pain — (Health Coach’s Tips)

Cupping for Neck Pain from Health Professionals at Find It Health

As the head of the Wellness Coach team here at Find It Health, I’m explaining all you need to know about neck pain.

Our health coach team here at Find It Health always works hard to provide credible and up-to-date information and accurate answers to your questions.

In this article, I will outline all you need to know about cupping for neck pain: its benefits, side effects, and uses.

Neck Cupping

Utilizing glass or plastic cups to induce suction on the neck and upper back skin is known as neck cupping. The air inside the cup is heated to produce the suction, which results in a vacuum when the cup is put on the skin.

The cups are usually left in place for several minutes.

During this time, it is thought that they aid in boosting blood flow, easing muscle tension or tight muscles, and encouraging relaxation in patients. Neck cupping is a form of complementary therapy. Although there is little scientific support and insufficient clinical evidence for these claims, some people also think neck cupping therapy can help relieve discomfort, chronic pain and inflammation.

As there are possible risks involved with inappropriate use, such as skin irritation or bruising, neck cupping should only be conducted by a certified healthcare professional who has learned this method. Not everyone should use it, especially if they have sensitive skin or medical issues. Getting medical advice before implementing a new medical procedure is usually advisable.


Cupping Points For Chronic Neck Pain

The precise locations of discomfort and tension will determine the cupping points for patients with chronic neck pain. Still, some typical areas that are treated with cupping therapy for chronic neck pain include:

  1. Upper Trapezius: This significant muscle runs from the middle of the back to the base of the head. The upper neck and shoulder region can benefit from cupping to ease stress and for pain reduction.
  2. Levator Scapulae: This muscle extends from the side of the neck to the top of the shoulder blade. Cupping this area can make the upper neck and shoulder more comfortable.
  3. Suboccipitals: The suboccipitals are a collection of tiny muscles at the base of the skull. Headaches and neck pain can be relieved by cupping this area.
  4. Sternocleidomastoid: The sternocleidomastoid muscle goes from the ear to the collarbone down the side of the neck. This region of the neck can benefit from cupping to ease stress and for chronic neck pain reduction.

A qualified healthcare professional should be the one you ask for neck cupping therapy.

They also can determine the most relevant cupping points for patients with neck pain, along withand other issues.

Benefits of Cupping on the Neck

Using cups to induce suction on the skin of the neck and upper back, neck cupping is a complementary and alternative medicine. Although there is no empirical support for neck cupping’s health advantages, some advantages might include the following:

  1. Pain reduction and discomfort relief: By improving blood flow, releasing tense muscles, and lowering inflammation, neck cupping may help patients with neck pain to reduce discomfort in the upper back and chronic neck pain.
  2. Improved circulation: Circulation is enhanced through cupping therapy, which may aid in reducing stress and promoting healing by enhancing blood flow and lymphatic circulation in the neck and upper back.
  3. Reduction of stress and anxiety: Many people find cupping therapy to be a calming and unwinding experience.
  4. Increased range of motion: Cupping therapy may help to increase flexibility and range of motion in the neck and upper back by releasing tight muscles and boosting circulation.
  5. Detoxification: Removing toxins and impurities from the body is considered a benefit of cupping therapy, albeit there is not much scientific proof to support this claim.


Is It Safe To Do Cupping On the Neck?

When carried out by a trained and certified healthcare expert, cupping on the neck can be safe. However, cupping carries considerable hazards, mainly when done incorrectly or without the necessary instruction.

The following are some possible hazards of neck cupping:

  1. Skin discomfort: The cups’ suction may result in momentary bruising, skin laceration, redness, or skin irritation.
  2. Burns: Burns can occur on the skin if the cups are too hot or remain in place for too long during cupping therapy, which uses heat to create suction.
  3. Infection: There is a risk of infection if the cups are not entirely sanitized or the skin needs to be well-washed before treatment.
  4. Adverse effects: During or after treatment, some patients may have adverse reactions or effects such as nausea, lightheadedness, skin laceration or dizziness. Cupping therapy may not be appropriate for everyone.

What Are The Best Neck Cupping Points?

Cupping therapists frequently use some neck cupping points. Some of the most typical points are as follows:

  1. The base of the skull: This region is where the neck connects to the head, at the base of the skull. At this point, cupping might assist in easing tension and headaches.
  2. The upper trapezius: This is a muscle that runs from the top of the shoulder to the base of the neck.
  3. Sternocleidomastoid: This point runs from the base of the skull to the top of the sternum and is situated on either side of the neck.
  4. Levator scapulae: This point is located near the neck at the top of the shoulder blade.
  5. Cervical vertebrae: Cupping along the spine, particularly the cervical vertebrae (the seven vertebrae that make up the neck), may aid in enhancing circulation and easing stress in the neck and upper back.


Can you cup your neck?

Even if possible, self-cupping is generally not advised, especially on the neck. When done incorrectly, cupping includes applying negative pressure to the skin, which can result in bruising, skin irritability, or other adverse effects. Due to the skill and knowledge of anatomy and pressure areas needed, cupping on the neck can also be more challenging to do on your own.

It is crucial to remember that a skilled healthcare expert who has received training in this method should be the only one to administer cupping therapy. A qualified practitioner will be able to evaluate your unique needs and choose the best pressure spots and cupping technique for your ailment.

Does cupping help with neck pain?

Neck pain and stiffness have been treated with cupping therapy.

According to specific research and statistical significance, cupping therapy may be helpful in chronic neck pain reduction. For instance, a 2016 systematic review of many trials discovered that short-term neck pain and stiffness reduction might be achieved using cupping therapy. The study outcome of a 2018 pilot study was that cupping therapy reduced chronic neck pain.

Although additional research and more clinical evidence are required to properly understand cupping therapy’s effectiveness for neck discomfort, it is crucial to remember that it might not be appropriate for everyone.

Where do you put cupping for neck pain?

Cups are often placed on particular locations around the neck, shoulders, and upper back during cupping therapy for neck discomfort and chronic pain. The following are some typical cupping points for neck pain:

  • The base of the skull
  • Upper trapezius
  • Sternocleidomastoid
  • Levator scapulae
  • Cervical vertebrae

Does cupping help with knots in the neck?

The use of cupping therapy – with clinical evidence – is effective in reducing stiffness, tension, and knots in the upper back and neck. Cupping entails applying suction to the skin to promote blood flow and circulation to the area. Improved circulation might aid in releasing stress, releasing knots, and relaxing stiff muscles.

According to specific research, cupping therapy may help ease muscle tension and bodily pain. For instance, a 2015 pilot study indicated that cupping therapy successfully lowered pain and muscular stiffness in a patient with shoulder complaints and neck pain. The study was published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

What are the side effects of cupping your neck?

When administered by a competent and certified healthcare expert, cupping therapy is usually considered safe. Like any therapeutic approach, there may be adverse events to be mindful of. The following are a few possible adverse events of neck cupping:

  1. Bruising: Temporary skin discoloration brought on by cupping may mimic a bruise. The marks should disappear with time (no long-term effects) but may be visible for a few days to a week or longer.
  2. Skin irritation: The cups used in cupping therapy may temporarily irritate the skin and produce itching, redness or skin laceration.
  3. Pain: Cupping therapy occasionally results in discomfort or chronic pain during or after the procedure.
  4. Dizziness or lightheadedness: Some people may experience dizziness or lightheadedness after cupping due to a temporary reduction in blood pressure.
  5. Infection: Infection may be dangerous if the skin is not well-cleaned before cupping.
  6. Burns: Cupping therapy may entail the use of heat, which, if carried out improperly, increases the risk of burns.



Neck cupping has many benefits that help with neck, shoulder and upper back pain and improves blood flow and circulation. Consult a skilled professional before you try a new treatment like this.


Find It Health Editor in Chief Luz Chacon Health and Wellness Coach Giving You Advice

Luz Chacon

Luz Chacon is a Health Educator, Wellness Coach, and EFT Tapping Practitioner with 30+ years in health advocacy. Specializing in stress management, wellbeing, and holistic health, she created a 40% stress reduction employee program. Luz is dedicated to helping busy individuals prioritize self-care, break patterns, and reach goals. She offers programs for organizations and individuals. Luz is passionate about sharing her health research and guiding informed choices!

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Luz Chacon Health Coaches at Find It Health and Stress Management and Natural Holistic Health Coaches