Facial Cupping

Benefits of Facial Cupping

Cupping is used in Chinese Medicine and culture to release muscles, ease pain, expel cold and damp, and move stagnation. That means less muscle tension, less facial pain, less puffiness, and increased circulation. Using cups can also stimulate acupuncture points and channels which has systemic effects which help that feeling of flow, glow, and ease. There are many steps to this treatment but don’t fret, cupping is quick and easy. Once you get the flow, this treatment can be done in 6-7 minutes. If you need cups – check out the Beauty Shop

Facial Cupping Techniques

Facial cupping is one of the easiest treatments and is very stimulating to the face. There are two basic techniques. I’ll explain these here, but be sure to watch the videos to see how to master the technique. 

1.  Press and release. This technique is simple. Squeeze the bulb of the cup gently. Press the cup perpendicular to the skin release the bulb to gently suction the skin. Release the cup. This technique should be done quickly. Don’t suction for longer than one second. 

2. Press – Slide – release: This technique is similar to the Press in release. Just slide once you have suction. Keep the cup perpendicular to the skin while sliding. If the cup loses pressure while sliding, check either if the cup is perpendicular, if the cup is too large for the area, or if you have enough facial oil on the face. Watch the pressure in the cup to not over pressurize. 

Be safe, follow these precautions

Please learn and follow these safety protocols before attempting facial cupping! 

1. Don’t give yourself a hickey: 

Cupping can cause petechiae aka a hickey. When cupping on the body, this is a therapeutic response. However, no one wants that on their face. 

First, don’t use too much pressure. Glass cups are preferable because you can see inside the cups. You will see the skin lift and can gage pressure of the cupping by amount of the skin bubble inside. A little lift is all you need.

Second, do not press for too long in one place. The longer you hang out in one place, the more likely you are to give yourself a hickey.

Third, do not pluck the cup of the face, instead release the pressure. When you pressure the cup, if you pull it off, you will hear the popping sound. This creates higher pressure which is a higher chance of a hickey.

Last, move on from the area when you see your face getting red. A little redness is an increase in microcirculation (increasing growth factors to the area yay!) or in Chinese Medicine – releasing trapped heat. This is good. However, you can give yourself a hickey or petechiae if you continue to go over an area too many times. Less is more. 


Yes I’m yelling – this is important!! You never ever ever want to suction your eyes. This includes everything within the orbital rim. The orbital rim is the black area in a skull where the eyes would be which is the socket that holds the eyeball. This means you don’t want to cup directly below the eyes which includes the lower lids where you get puffy eyes and the upper lids. If you want to treat puffy eyes, use a facial teishin beauty wand or gua sha gently. But never ever a use a facial cup around the eyes. 


Yes, I’m yelling again. This one is the most serious. We have major arteries and veins which are nice enough to send blood to our head and return it to our heart. However those arteries in particular are prone to get plaques. Plaques can live without rupturing our entire lives. But if you do sliding cupping over those plaques on your neck, you might dislodge it which can lead to a stroke. That’s beyond serious. The solution is so simple. Instead of sliding cupping, press and release on the neck. I bring these up because it’s so easy to do this treatment safely and the risks are serious if you don’t follow these simple rules. PS your acupuncturist might do sliding cupping on your neck but that’s because they are trained exactly where to avoid. Leave this to the pros. 


Before you start cupping, use a facial oil like Qi Glow Gua Sha Oil. This will help the cups suction effectively. Read these sections and follow along with the videos to learn the techniques and patterns. After a couple rounds, this will be quick and easy. Look at a mirror while you do the treatment so that you can see what you are doing! This treatment is done in two sections. If you only have a few minutes do one half or the other.  

1. Stimulate acupuncture points and channels.

2. The rest of the treatment which is mostly sliding cupping and some press and release. 

Part 1: Stimulating Acupuncture Points

A facial cupping self care treatment is best done in two parts. Before you start cupping, use a facial oil like Qi Glow Gua Sha Oil. This will help the cups suction effectively.


1. Stimulate acupuncture points and channels.

2. The rest of the treatment which is mostly sliding cupping and some press and release. 


Let’s start with part one. Acupuncture points have individual indications but they also connect to larger channels that travel to the rest of your body. 

Acupuncturists talk in abreviations so I’ll include the common abreviation of the point with the common english point name. 

REN 24 – Located at the center of the chin in the mentolabial groove. End of the Ren Channel. Benefits the face. Treats neck stiffness. Can also be used for pain and numbness in the face.

DU26 – The philtrum indentation in the center above the lips and below the nose. Calms the spirit especially for those feeling manic or in a heightened state. Benefits the face and nose.


LI20 – next to the center of the nostril on the naso-labial groove. LI20 also clears wind and heat – this can be nasal congestion, alleries, sneezing, and nose bleeds.

Bitong – where the naso-labial groove meets the nose. Benefits the nose and sinuses.

STOMACH 2 (ST 2)– Directly below the pupil about one inch over the infraorbital foramen. Always cup on the bone, not within the orbital rim or near the eye. Benefits the eyes.

Yin Tang – Between the eye brows or the ‘third eye’. “The snooze button”. Calming – treats anxiety and insomnia. Treats frontal headaches. Benefits the nose.

BLADDER 2 (BL 2) – At the beginning of the eyebrow. Benefits the eyes. Swelling and eye pain. Twitching of the eyelids. Sinus headaches associated with the frontal sinuses. Allergies.

Yu yao – center of the eyebrows, above the pupil. Benefits the eyes. Treats twitching eyes and dropping eyelids.

San Jiao 23 (SJ 23) – Treats eyebrows. Treats headaches redness of the eyes. Twitching in the eyelids or eyebrows. Ingrown eyelashes.

Gall Bladder 1(GB1) – In the hollow on the side of the orbital margin. From the corner of the eye roll around to the hollow in front of the temple. Benefits the eyes. Clears redness, tearing,  and itching of the eyes. Temporal headaches.

Tai Yang – In the center of the temple, just below the level of the eyebrow. Treats headache, dizziness, eye redness, swelling, and pain.

Part 2: Sliding Cupping on the Face and Press-and-Release on the Neck

The second half of the treatment is similar to the facial teishin pattern. Most of this treatment can use the big cup. If areas are hard to suction because of the anatomy, a smaller cup might help. Use the large cup whenever possible for sliding cupping. Use sliding cupping unless stated to switch to press release. 

  1.    1. Start on the neck with press- release. No sliding! 
  2.    2. Below the collarbone
  3.    3. Underneath Jaw. Press- release. 
  4.    4. Chin
  5.    5. Along jawline
  6.    6. Between the cheeks and jawline.
  7.    7. Sinuses
  8.    8. Cheekbone
  9.    9. On the eye brows (may need to use a small cup)
  10.   10. Temples
  11.   11. Between eyebrows
  12.   12. Up the forehead and then across the forehead.
  13.   13. Lips.
  14.   14. Other side of face repeating steps 4-12.
  15.   15. Down the neck with press and release (no sliding cupping)
  16.   16. Sliding underneath the collar bone.

Are you ready to get glowing? Grab your facial cups here:

Cautions and Contraindications

Facial Cupping is not for everyone unfortunately. Please ask your doctor and/or personal acupuncturist if facial cupping is safe for you. 

You should take even more precautions if you: 

– Have a bleeding or clotting disorder, are on blood thinners, or vascular issues. 

-Have had facial injections, fillers, implants, or facial surgery. 

– Are prone to migraines.

– Have cuts, bruises, wounds, rashes, hives, burns, blisters, or bleeding or pustule acne.