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Reduce the Appearance of Cellulite with Cupping

By: Vanessa Vogel Batt L.Ac. MSOM

Have you ever noticed how easily cellulite can creep up on you? One day you're sitting down in a pair of shorts and can't help but see the dimpled, fatty texture on your outer thighs. If you've gained a few pounds recently or had a long-standing weight issue, the appearance of cellulite on the legs, abdomen, arms or buttocks might not be that shocking. But, it might be surprising to learn that even thin people are prone to cellulite as well.

Fluid retention, a compromised lymph drainage system, feeble veins, and poor blood circulation all contribute to the production and appearance of cellulite. The fat cells located under the skin either increase in size, or number, or both, causing the extra bulk to push up against the fascia, the connective tissue in between skin and muscle. These deposits of fat make their mark on the skin, giving off the texture of cottage cheese and the feel of small, soft dimples.

One of the best, most direct ways to break up cellulite is by utilizing a technique called cupping. Cupping therapy uses suction cups that come in a variety of sizes, and they adhere to problem areas. There are two different methods to apply cups. One involves the use of a flame to quickly burn up the oxygen so the cup strongly attaches itself to the body. The other method is to apply the cup on the body first, and then use a device that pumps all the air out. Both work equally as well.

Cups are either placed and remain stationary, or can be used in a more dynamic way. For the purposes of breaking up and purging cellulite, the cup can be slid back and forth over the fatty area. Doing so will help disperse the cellulite by breaking up the fat deposits, toxins, lymph drainage refuse, excess fluids, and other undesirable elements. This will reduce unhealthy fluid accumulation and allow the lymphatic system to perform better. All this contributes to the shrinkage of cellulite.

The sudden display of circular marks on the skin right after the application is actually evidence that the treatment is working. Bruising occurs when toxins and stagnant blood break through old, deteriorated veins and exit via the skin layer. The red, brown or blackish colors are the result of useless, or potentially harmful substances, leaving the body.

Remember this when you schedule your treatment. You'll want to avoid certain environments for a few days. The best thing to do after a cupping treatment is to keep the area covered and away from any wind, cold, heat or dampness as that area of skin is more vulnerable to the elements. It's best to protect it.

Other than that, no extra care is required on your part. Just enjoy the effect the treatment has on the quality of your skin. The fibrous tissue should be tightened up, leaving your skin firmer. As the whole area is more invigorated with healthy blood, the skin should also feel smoother and look healthier.

Cellulite. (2018). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from

Williams, L. What Are the Causes of Severe Cellulite in Thin People? Livestrong. Retrieved from


Contact an acupuncturist today to schedule an appointment or to learn more about acupuncture and Oriental medicine.

About the Author: Vanessa Vogel Batt, L.Ac., MSTOM, studied at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, and practiced acupuncture and Oriental medicine in New York for several years. Vanessa enjoys traveling the world, and has published articles on acupuncture and Oriental medicine and related health topics for websites and publications in both the U.S. and abroad.

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