Total Therapy Blog

Acupressure & Cupping – No Needles Necessary!

Are you looking to experience the benefits that acupuncture treatment can provide, but not a fan of needles? Well, look no further!

Whether you have recently been involved in an Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA), are dealing with a nagging or new injury, or are experiencing ongoing headaches, muscle pain, and tension, Acupressure and/or Cupping may be a great fit for you. This service is covered by most extended healthcare plans, as well as ICBC (they provide 12 fully covered, pre-approved sessions for those recently in an MVA). 

Our talented Acupuncturists, Shawn Tjen (North Burnaby) and Alex Hui (Metrotown) are experienced treatment providers who will work with you to create a treatment plan tailored specifically to you – with or without the needles!

See below where we have answered your questions about this service!

What is Acupressure and Cupping?

Acupressure is a manual (hands-on) therapy, often combined with deep tissue massage whereby pressure is applied to specific points of the body. This is designed to help treat the patient’s transverse energy dynamic (i.e. works with the direction in which blood flows across the body). This hands-on approach allows the Acupuncturist to best determine which areas of the body are affected and guide treatment in a way that is specific to the patient’s needs.

Cupping is a technique whereby cups are applied to precise locations on the body. These cups create suction, which in turn increases blood flow to that area. Improved blood flow means that blood and therefore oxygen flows more effectively throughout the body. This can mean faster healing times for injuries, better organ function, among other benefits.  Cupping is designed to help treat the patient’s sagittal energy dynamic (i.e. works to pull blood flow towards the surface of the skin). 

These two modalities combined are very effective at improving blood circulation!

Is it true that these sessions can be performed without the use of needles? 

Needle haters rejoice! Acupressure and cupping sessions can be offered as an effective alternative to traditional acupuncture treatments and are 100% needle free. 

What can I expect in an Acupressure/Cupping session?

In a typical Acupressure/Cupping session, your Acupuncturist will work with you to determine your goal(s) for treatment and use that information to design an effective treatment plan. Every treatment is specific to you and will begin with a combination of deep tissue massage and acupressure. This hands-on portion of treatment will allow your therapist to help identify the areas of concern, including trigger points, areas of blood stasis (areas of the body where blood is not flowing properly through tissue), strained soft tissue, etc. This will help your Acupuncturist to identify the most effective and precise cupping locations for the next phase of your treatment. 

The cupping portion of your session will begin with cups being applied to specific locations of the body. Cups will remain on the skin for approximately 10 to 15 minutes while you relax and the cups do their work! Following this, your Acupuncturist will remove the cups and your session will conclude with a follow-up massage to help calm the tissue and improve circulation to assist with faster recovery. 

Acupressure/Cupping sessions help to effectively reduce and soften muscle tone and tension while minimizing sensitivity of the body tissues. Patients are typically able to feel improvement after just one session!

What can an Acupressure/ Cupping session treat?

  • Muscle pain and tension
  • Headaches
  • Inflammation 
  • Muscular imbalances
  • Reduced joint range of motion from conditions including Frozen Shoulder and Shoulder Impingement Syndrome
  • Muscle adhesions
  • Blood stasis from injury
  • Nerve-related problems (i.e. sciatica, tingling or numbness in hands and fingers, etc)
  • General body pain 
  • And more!

Book your Acupressure appointment HERE.


Interested in scheduling an appointment?
Book yours online today!