Skip to content

Cupping and Gua Sha

The Phoenix & Dragon Austin acupuncturist provides a selection of massage therapy services for local patients. Sharon Shuppert, Dipl. OM, L.Ac. has advanced training and experience in Cupping and Gua Sha. You may book an appointment online at

What is Cupping?

Cupping therapy is an ancient method of treatment that has been used in the treatment of a broad range of conditions. Cupping can induce comfort and relaxation on a systemic level and result in the increase in endogenous opioid production in the brain which leads to improved pain control. 

Cups are applied to the skin using suction. In TCM, we focus on energy pathways called meridians. Dry cupping is when cups are placed on a point and left to work their magic for a prescribed period of time. Wet cupping is the use of cups with oil. The cups are suctioned on the skin and then glide along the skin to release large areas of constriction.

Some researchers propose that the main action of cupping therapy is to enhance the circulation of blood and to remove toxins and waste from the body. Cupping therapy tends to drain excess fluids and toxins, loosen adhesions and revitalize connective tissue, increase blood flow to skin and muscles, stimulate the peripheral nervous system, reduce pain, controls high blood pressure and modulates the immune system.

The positive effects of cupping are numerous. For more information and citation of hundred of studies, check out this article from the National Library of Medicine:

What is Gua Sha?

Gua sha is a technique where a smooth-edged massage tool is used to scrape the skin with short strokes. This increases microcirculation of the soft tissue, which increases blood and lymph circulation. Gua sha addresses stagnant energy known as Qi. This can help reduce inflammation, relieve pain and promote healing.

Gua sha can be done on the back, buttocks, neck, arms and legs. With the proper tools it can also be used to the face to improve circulation which can lead to increased collagen production.  The intensity is gradually increased to your tolerance. When you book for cupping or gua sha, I may combine the two modalities depending on your body’s needs.

To experience the magic of cupping and gua sha using Traditional Chinese techniques, schedule an appointment today at

512-659-3226 Directions Contact/Schedule