Overall, the contraindications for cupping are very straightforward. If you practice cupping within a regulated health practice, then you must adhere to the contraindications within your scope of practice.
There are considerations to be addressed for all practitioners. Because we are using a mechanical device, there is a greater capacity to treat with more force. Bearing that in mind, it is important to check in with clients to gauge pressure. it should not be painful or uncomfortable. The first time receiving cupping, sometimes clients find the experience of negative pressure massage a bit strange. If there is pain, it is a signal to release some pressure on your cups. If the pain does not cease, then you should stop the treatment.
Another point to address is the lymphatic effect of cupping. If a patient has a compromised immune system, we need to adjust the treatment to ensure we do not over tax it. It is fairly common for clients to feel tired, but usually very relaxed. In some cultures, a warm bath is prescribed after cupping. It is important to make sure clients keep their body covered and warm.
Finally, hydration is another consideration with cupping. With very dry skin, you may find the cups do not attach easily. Hydration is an important part of good health, and can lead to a host of health issues.
Precautions and Contraindications
- Always take sensible precautions when using cupping. These include:
- Do not use cupping when there is high fever, for convulsions or cramps, allergic skin conditions, or ulcerated sores.
- Cupping should only be done on the soft muscle tissue and should NOT be done where the muscle layer is thin or is not level because of bony projections or angles
- Cupping is not effective on areas where there is excessive body hair, or irregular angles.
- Use proper sterilization techniques Use Suitable Cups for the area being treated.
- Take extra care with children and the elderly.
- Do not apply strong cupping to the face
- Do not treat the abdomen or lower back of pregnant women.
- Do not use cupping on inflamed or cut skin.
- Take Extra Care when scraping the skin and do not cut a vein or artery.
- Do not treat people with a serious heart disease
- Always know where the fire extinguishers is, and know how to use it. Make sure exits, fire exit and passages are clear.
- Safety with handling of alcohol and lighting the cotton.
- Make sure your hands are clean and dry.
- Do not let the flame go out of your sight. Always have an eye on the flame.