What Cupping Tools Do You Need? — (Health Coach’s Tips)

what cupping tools do you need from health coaches in los angeles

As the lead health and wellness consultant at FindItHealth, I’m here to assist you choose the most appropriate cupping equipment for your needs. 

For healing and pain relief, more people are turning to alternative therapies like cupping therapy. Using cupping equipment, cupping can be done in a clinic or at home. To determine the sort of cupping treatments you require or whether you also need other medical care, we advise consulting a healthcare expert or licensed cupping therapist before beginning this treatment. Please continue reading to know more.

What Are The Different Cupping Tools?

Different types of cupping tools can be used in cupping therapy. These include:

  • Glass cups – These are the most commonly used cupping tools and are made of glass. They come in different sizes and are placed on the skin, creating suction by using a vacuum pump or by heating the air inside the cup.
  • Silicone cups – These cups are made of silicone and are soft and flexible. They are often used for people who have sensitive skin or are allergic to latex.
  • Plastic cups – Similar to silicone cups, these are made of plastic and are used in a similar way to glass cups.
  • Bamboo cups – These are made of bamboo and are lightweight. They are less commonly used compared to other cupping tools.
  • Fire cups – These are made of glass and are heated with a flame before being placed on the skin. As the cup cools down, it creates suction on the skin.
  • Pump cups – These are made of plastic and have a pump that is used to create suction. They are often used for self-treatment at home.
  • Magnetic cups – These are similar to glass cups but have magnets inside them. They are said to help improve blood circulation.
  • Metal cups – These cups are less commonly used and are typically made from copper, brass, or stainless steel. They are often used in traditional Chinese medicine.
  • Ear cups – These are small cups that are specifically designed to be used on the ears. They are often used in auricular acupuncture.


What Is A Professional Cupping Set?

A professional cupping set is a collection of tools and equipment used in cupping therapy to create a suctioning effect on the skin.

A set typically includes the following items:

  • Cupping glasses or cupping suction cups – These are the cups that are placed on the skin to create suction. They can be made of glass, silicone, plastic, or bamboo.
  • Vacuum pump – This is used to create suction in the cups. It can be a manual pump or an electric pump.
  • Hose – This connects the vacuum pump to the cups and allows for the suction to be created.
  • Alcohol swabs – These are used to clean the skin before and after cupping therapy.
  • Massage oil or lotion – This is used to lubricate the skin and help the cups glide over the skin during the cupping process.
  • Cotton balls or gauze – These are used to create a barrier between the cups and the skin, especially when using fire cupping.
  • Lighter – This is used for fire cupping to heat the cups before placing them on the skin.
  • Storage case – This is used to keep all the cupping tools organized and easily accessible.

Where Should You Buy A Cupping Therapy Kit?

If you are interested in purchasing a cupping therapy kit, there are several options available, including:

  • Online retailers – Many online retailers sell cupping therapy kits, including Amazon, eBay, and specialized health and wellness websites. It is important to read product reviews and check the seller’s reputation before making a purchase.
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) stores – TCM stores often sell cupping therapy kits and other related products. These stores can be found in many cities and may be a good option if you prefer to purchase in person.
  • Health and wellness stores – Many health and wellness stores carry cupping therapy kits, including larger chains like WalMart and smaller independent shops.


Do The Type Of Cups Matter?

The type of cup used would have an impact on the treatment. The following are material considerations in cupping therapy:

  • Glass cups are the most commonly used and are often preferred by professionals because they allow for better control over the suction and can be easily sterilized.
  • Silicone cups are soft and flexible, making them a good option for those with sensitive skin. Plastic cups are similar to silicone cups and are often used for self-treatment at home.
  • Bamboo cups are less commonly used, but they are lightweight and can be a good option for certain areas of the body.

The size of the cup is also chosen for the particular body spot that is to be treated, like in the examples below:

  • For facial cupping therapy, extremely small cups with a diameter of 0.60 to 1.50 inches are utilized.
  • On wrists, little cups (1.18 inches) are frequently used.
  • On the biceps, calves, and shoulders, medium-sized cups measuring 1.54 inches are employed.
  • Wider areas, such as the thighs and back, receive larger cups, which have an average diameter of 1.96 inches.

Beyond its origins in traditional Chinese medicine, cupping therapy has found use in other locations throughout the world, and subsequently evolved into different shapes.

  • Glass cups in the form of bells or rounds are typically found in Japan and Europe.
  • In North America, cups shaped like buffalo horns are typical.
  • Cups in the form of shell shapes are also used by therapists in North America.

Ultimately, the type of cups used should be chosen based on the individual’s needs and the therapist’s preference.


What Are The Types Of Cups?

The type of cups to use will depend on the cupping technique. The following is a brief explanation:

  • Dry cupping – The suction is created by heating the air inside the cups before placing them on the skin. Glass cups are commonly used. Glass cups can withstand the heat and provide a good seal to create the necessary suction.
  • Fire cupping – Also known as dry cupping, fire cupping uses the same technique we’ve discussed. In addition, the glass cups used in fire cupping may be thick or thin, with thin cups being more commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine. Thicker cups are less likely to break, but they may also be heavier and less comfortable for the patient.
  • Wet cupping- Glass cups are often used in wet cupping. Small incisions are made on the skin before placing the cups to draw out a small amount of blood. However, the cups used for wet cupping may have additional features such as a valve or pump to control the suction and blood flow.
  • Massage cupping – Cups for massage cupping are made of silicone or plastic. These cups are designed to be lightweight and flexible, which allows the therapist to easily move them around the body during the massage. The cups used in massage cupping are usually larger and softer than the cups used in traditional fire or wet cupping therapy.
  • Needle cupping – Also known as “wet cupping with bloodletting,” needle cupping is a combination of wet cupping and acupuncture. Glass cups are commonly used because they can withstand the heat needed for dry cupping and can also be used for wet cupping with bloodletting. Plastic cups may also be used, as they are lightweight and flexible, making them easy to handle during the treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is cupping equipment?

In addition to what we’ve already said, there is cupping equipment that falls under the premium category. Premium cupping equipment is typically made of high-quality materials that are durable and designed to provide the best possible therapeutic effects. Some features that may be considered premium in cupping equipment include:

  • High-quality cup material – Glass cups made of medical-grade glass are often considered premium because they are less likely to break and can be sterilized easily.
  • Superior suction control – Premium cupping sets may have advanced features such as adjustable suction control or built-in pumps to allow the practitioner to fine-tune the amount of suction for each individual.
  • Ergonomic design – Premium cupping sets may be designed with ergonomics in mind, with features such as comfortable handles or grips to make them easier to use for longer periods.

What tools are used for cupping?

For healing and relieving aches and pains, the following may be used to optimize a cupping session in addition to the tools previously discussed.

  • Acupuncture needles – In needle cupping, acupuncture needles may be inserted into the skin before or after cupping.
  • Massage oils – For massage cupping, massage oils may be used to help the cups glide smoothly over the skin.
  • Moxa – Dried mugwort (moxa) is used to create heat and stimulate acupuncture points.
  • Machine cupping – This type of cupping is also known as mechanical or electric cupping, is a modern technique that uses a motorized suction pump to create suction on the skin. The pump may be controlled manually or electronically.


What kind of cup do you use for cupping?

The following is a quick look at the different types of cups used for cupping.

Based on material

  • Glass cups
  • Silicone cups
  • Plastic cups
  • Bamboo cups
  • Metal cups

Based on shape

  • Bell-shaped or round glass cups
  • Buffalo-horn-shaped cups
  • Shell-shaped cups

Evidence from a study

Glass cups are used in wet cupping. According to a 2014 study published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine, wet cupping technique is effective at reducing oxidative stress. When the body’s oxidants and antioxidants are in an unbalanced state, oxidative stress results. Oxidative stress can result in cellular damage, inflammation, and chronic illnesses.

Can I do cupping on myself?

While it is possible to perform cupping on yourself, it’s generally recommended to have a trained professional perform the treatment. Cupping therapy can involve the use of fire or heat to create suction, which can be dangerous if not done properly. Additionally, if the cups are not placed correctly, they can cause bruising or other skin and connective tissue injuries.

What are the three types of cupping?

The three most common types of cupping are:

  • Dry Cupping
  • Wet Cupping
  • Fire Cupping

All these are found to promote circulation, reduce inflammation, and relax tense muscles which are common complaints of patients seeking cupping therapy.


The choice to undergo cupping therapy will ultimately be based on personal preferences, health issues, and treatment objectives. It is crucial to speak with a medical expert to find out whether cupping therapy is a safe and effective solution for your unique needs and whether you can use cupping gear to carry out this therapy at home. 

We appreciate you reading this article. To find out if cupping is the best alternative medicine for you, read our other articles about cupping. Please come back to learn more health and wellness advice!


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