Fire Cupping–Risks and Safer Alternatives

Recently, Chinese actress Deng Sha suffered second-degree burns during a traditional cupping therapy appointment. In this video, our training team explains how this accident happened and reveals a safer modern alternative.

If you prefer to read rather than watch the video, here's the transcript:

Hi, I'm Kristen. I'm the training manager at Universal Companies. We are a spa and wellness distribution center and we are passionate about all things spa and wellness. Behind the camera today we have Lauren, our training coordinator, and we're here to talk to you about a recent article that we read on Fox News about a Chinese actress who experienced second degree burns when she went in for an appointment of traditional cupping therapy. So we're here to explain “what is cupping therapy?” Is there a difference between traditional methods and fire cupping and is there any safer alternative for that?

How Traditional Cupping (or Fire Cupping) Injured Actress

So to start off with the cupping appointment that this actress went to was traditional cupping, it uses glass cups and it heats the cups to create suction on the skin. So the way that they do this is they have a cotton ball that's been soaked in rubbing alcohol. They light that on fire and they take the glass cup, they swab it with the cotton ball that is on fire, and then they place it onto the back or whatever area you're working on that day and it creates suction on the tissue. It pulls it up, increases circulation. They might move that cup around or they might keep it in place on just to treat areas of tension. So what happened with this actress is the alcohol that was on the inside of the cup actually dripped down and made contact with her skin and it caught on fire and so that's what happened with her. That is how something that was supposed to benefit her wellness actually ended up harming her. So obviously this might create concerns and perception that cupping therapy is not something that you should experience for yourself.

Safer Alternative to Fire Cupping

We have started looking into safer alternatives for cupping therapy. So we're here to talk about Bellabaci. This is a modernized version of cupping therapy. It uses hand squeezable silicone cups. These are food grade and they do not require heat or fire or anything else to create suction on the skin. So you still receive all the same benefits of cupping without a lot of the risks that come into play with traditional methods. The way that Bellabaci was actually created was that founder Karen Trabelsi experienced a lot of complications during and post her pregnancy with her babies and she got into cupping because it really helped relieve a lot of pain and tension. And the way that it does that is just like with a normal massage, whether it's Swedish massage or deep tissue massage, it's going to encourage the natural bodily response of flushing out excess fluids through the lymph nodes.

Benefits of Silicone Cupping Therapy

So manual lymphatic drainage, that's a term that a lot of us have heard before. It's basically using a tool to perform manual lymphatic drainage. And it does this through section of the tissue. It can reach up to 10 centimeters into the tissue, which is a lot more than what we can apply with positive pressure using our hands manually. So instead we're using a tool and we're creating suction that pulls the tissue up, increases circulation, and you can move the cup around and move it towards the lymph nodes and encourage the natural process of lymphatic drainage. This really does have a lot of health benefits to it. And then you also reduce the risk of having any overstretched skin and you can even improve the appearance of your skin with the silicone cups, the reason being the edges are smooth, evenly rounded and so they're going to pull the skin in equal directions. It creates an equal surface tension and that will ensure that there's no overstretching and it will actually improve the elastin in the skin itself. So you have some beauty benefits along with your health benefits.


Types of Silicone Cups Available

We have different types of cups. We have the one that I actually just picked up, this is the hard cup. So this is going to be great for target area treatment. This reaches up to 10 centimeters into the tissue. You have a soft cup, much easier to squeeze and then this is going to reach up to about four centimeters into the tissue. And then you have your Super cup which is called that because of its size, it's a lot bigger comparison to the body cups. This is going to be for larger areas and it is about a medium strength or reaches up to that seven centimeters into the tissue. We also have for the face so that you don't miss out on some of the beauty benefits, we have the little Bambino cups. They are delicate enough for your thinner tissue on the face. So we have that as well.


Cupping Oils

We have the genies which are paired with the cups. These are perfect oils that are masterfully formulated to work with the cups and create an even glide. And they are for different types of concerns that you might have to enhance your wellness. We call them genies actually because they're basically your wellness wish in a bottle. So any concern that you might have, any wellness wish that you have, you would pick out your genie and use it with the cups and get all the benefits of cupping and also the wonderful essential oils that are in the Bellabaci Genies.


Closing: Benefits of Professional Cupping & Retail

We hope that this was really interesting and helpful for you to learn about a safer alternative method of cupping. We hope that you'll give it a try. We have professional kits and we also have retail kits for you to talk to your clients about so that they can safely be educated on the benefits of cupping at home that they can pair with your professional treatments. And for more information, please visit us Thanks for tuning in.

Universal Companies is proud to have a team of experienced spa advisors on staff and welcomes you to consult with our professionals about spa products and supplies, including ingredients, equipment, and retail. Dedicated to the success of spa professionals everywhere, we're grateful to be recognized with the American Spa Magazine Professional's Choice Award, Favorite Distributor of the Year for many consecutive years. (Thank you!)

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