Does Cupping for Cellulite Work? Here's Everything You Need to Know

"I know what a woman is 'supposed' to be-thin, white, and feminine in a way that follows the many rules of the male gaze," contributor Rachel Charlene Lewis wrote in regard toВ the journey to loving her body. She speaks about how it all came down toВ appreciatingВ herself regardless of what she was "supposed" to be. Such is the case with cellulite as much as it is identity and shape.В Ninety percent of us haveВ cellulite, andВ we've all been fooled into despising it by gimmicky workout routines and diets that promise to banish whatever it is they're supposed to rid you of. But cellulite is part of your body, part of most of our bodies, and it has very little to do with weight and certainly shouldn't affect our self-worth.В

That being said, just as you're allowed to love yourВ form the way it is, you're also free to want to change it. Creams don't always work and lasers can be painful and expensive. That's why we decided to look into cupping for some possible answers.

Keep reading to find out more.


What Is Cupping?

Cupping is a practice,В dating back as early as 3000 BCE throughout Asia and Europe, in which practitioners use cups to create suction over targeted areas of your skin. Celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Olympic athletes like Michael Phelps began to put the technique on the map in the U.S. a few years-I'm sure you've seen the pictures-butВ holistic practitioners have made it readily available for far longer.

"We use suction to bring blood and energy, qi asВ it's called in traditional Chinese medicine,В to the area," saysВ Robert Youngs,В an acupuncturist andВ herbalist based in Beverly Hills. It's meant to break up stagnation and moveВ your blood, increase circulation and lymphatic drainage, and resolve issues that are sometimes deep in the fascia and muscle layers, saysВ Youngs.

Meet the Expert

Robert Youngs is an acupuncturist based out of Beverly Hills, CA. Following the ethos of stress being the lead cause of most illness, Young works to provide an individualized and natural approach to bettering his client's overall wellbeing.

How does it work?

"TheВ suction inВ cuppingВ brings red blood cells to the area, which can often cause bruising because the red blood cells stay in the area to continue healing-much like if you had an injuryВ fromВ falling down," Youngs notes.В See, those red blood cells stay there to heal. Essentially,В your practitioner isВ artificially bringing thoseВ red blood cellsВ to an area using suction,В and if there is something that needs to be healed deep within the muscle layer, the bruising will stay there to heal it. "I think ofВ theВ cuppingВ marksВ as somewhat diagnostic," says Youngs. "You can use the same pressure on both sides of the body, and sometimes you'll have a much darker mark in certain spots than others. Therefore, those areas are ones that need healing," he says.


Does it aid in cellulite reduction?

"In traditional Chinese medicine, they see ailmentsВ as caused by a stagnation or blockage of energy flow, andВ celluliteВ is no different," explains Youngs. "Specifically,В celluliteВ can be a result of poor blood circulation,В lymphatic issues (where it is not draining as well as it should),В fluid retention,В andВ hormonal imbalances."В He says cuppingВ movesВ your blood,В increases circulation, and reduces the buildup of fluid. So it's pretty much perfect for helping reduce the look of cellulite. "The suction of the cups also breaks up theВ celluliteВ and changes the texture ofВ your skin with repeated use," Youngs notes. Even better,В it can be used in very specific areas on the body-your butt, thighs, and the like. It's hard for a diet to target specific body parts, but Cupping can.

"We like to use a combination ofВ cuppingВ and Chinese herbs,В both internally and topicallyВ for cellulite treatment.В You can choose to do either stationaryВ cuppingВ orВ runningВ cupping," says Youngs. "With the latter," he continues, "the cups move and run acrossВ your body with suction using oil. However, we mostly use stationary cupping because moving them across the body in those areas can be uncomfortable.В The cups are usually left on anywhere fromВ fiveВ to 20 minutes, depending on the person and level of fluid retention in their body. We often startВ theirВ first session withВ five toВ 10 minutes, and, and as the body acclimates, increase the length of time with each session.В You canВ expect changes withinВ two to four visitsВ withВ six to eight treatments."


How should I treat the bruising?

To treat the initial bruising,В Youngs usesВ a topical herbal formula. It's a blend commonly used inВ mixed martial arts to speed healing of bruising and injuries. "Another important aspect of herbs is they can help to treat some of theВ rootВ issues that causeВ celluliteВ in the first place,В likeВ hormonalВ imbalances," Youngs says. "Women's HarmonyВ is an herbal formula that includes Dang Gui, a well-known Chinese herb that is adaptogenic, contains phytoestrogen and will help balance hormones.В Irregular periodsВ andВ painful periods can oftenВ accompanyВ celluliteВ (if it is due to a hormonalВ imbalance), andВ we like to treatВ it withВ an herbal supplement combined with acupuncture, rather than just use one treatment." It's the combination that helps your entire body,В he notes.

If you'd rather not go the in-office-treatment route, finding really effective tools that help with the reduction of cellulite while tightening and toning your skin is beneficial. You can use them right in your living room.

Cellu-Cup Color Changing Cellu-Cup $18ShopNuFace Nubody Skin Toning Device $399ShopFasciablaster Mini $65Shop

FYI: I tried facial cupping to get rid of my under-eye bags.