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Showering After Cupping: Is It a Bad Idea?

Ventosa therapy, also commonly known as cupping or Hijama therapy is a Chinese alternative medicine that is now practiced all over the world.

Relaxing and pleasant, Ventosa involves putting cups on your skin and using heat to help draw out air, creating a gentle suction. During the process, the skin rises under the cup, expanding the blood vessels.

Cupping is a form of massage therapy aimed at treating sports injuries and skin conditions, reducing muscle aches and pains, and improving general health and wellness.

But it is essential to follow the proper aftercare regimen in order to get the best benefits from a session. This includes knowing whether or not to take a shower after cupping.

In this article, we’ll share whether you should take a shower after cupping therapy and why.

cupping therapy

Can I Shower After Cupping Therapy?

You shouldn’t take a shower right after a cupping session or Ventosa. That’s because cupping opens your pores to draw air out. Your skin will be sensitive and vulnerable, particularly the treated areas, while the pores remain open for a couple of hours following the treatment.

You should also avoid taking a bath right after cupping therapy, as well as several other activities including working out, drinking alcohol, or sunbathing.

Why You Can’t Shower After Cupping

One of the common questions regarding cupping aftercare is why a person can’t shower after the therapy. The answer is fairly simple: your skin is still fragile, and the pores are still open.

Since your treated skin is more sensitive than usual after Ventosa, taking a shower, particularly a hot one, may result in inflammation and can damage the skin.

More importantly, you risk getting an infection. Cupping massage doesn’t sound too serious, but open pores are more susceptible to infection as pathogens and chemicals can enter your skin while the pores are enlarged.

How Soon Can I Shower After Ventosa Massage?

As a general rule, wait at least three hours following your cupping session before deciding to hop into the shower. It gives your open pores and sensitive skin time to close and calm down and allows the blood circulation to settle.

However, some massage therapists recommend avoiding showers for at least six hours after receiving the massage.

If your skin doesn’t feel too sensitive three hours from having a Ventosa, then it should be safe to take a shower. However, people can have different experiences after Ventosa. Generally, your skin will be a bit tender to the touch. Sometimes, however, it might be a little more painful. If this is the case for you, you will want to wait longer before taking a shower after a session.

If you experience a little bruising, scarring, or swelling where the suction cups were placed, you can check if these symptoms are gone the next day before taking a shower. If needed, you can clean the area with a soft, damp sponge.

Cupping Aftercare

Cupping is safe, comfortable, and effective in treating many health and wellness issues. Suction on the skin can boost blood and lymph-node flow to your muscles and skin and loosen and lift connective tissues.

But remember, a cupping session is only as good as your aftercare.

What NOT to Do After Ventosa Massage

Besides taking a shower, there are a couple of other things you should avoid doing after cupping therapy.

  • Avoid hot tubs and saunas

Like taking hot showers, introducing extreme temperature from hot tubs and saunas to your sensitive skin after the session can cause undue damage.

  • Avoid windy places and extremely cold temperatures

Just like too much heat, areas with cold drafts, windy places, and extremely cold temperatures should be avoided after a cupping session to ensure you get the most benefit from the treatment.

Your body will be vulnerable to attack from cold and wind with open pores after cupping, defeating the treatment’s purpose. These external factors can reduce blood flow and trigger pain and stiffness in treated areas.

  • Don’t do intense workouts 

It’s not advisable to go right to the gym after a cupping session, or any form of massage therapy, really. As mentioned previously, your pores are still open for at least a couple of hours after the treatment. During this time, it’s necessary to avoid anything that may allow external pathogens to enter through your open pores, such as sweat.

Also, your sensitive skin might burn from the consistent rubbing of gym clothes. Further, exerting too much effort during a workout will only prolong how long it takes for your skin to heal after the massage therapy. Intensive workouts zap the energy you will need to heal after the cupping session.

But if you want to move around, stretching, walking, yoga, and other gentle movements should be safe. You only need to avoid rigorous exercises that cause excessive sweating.

  • Stay away from drinking alcohol or caffeine

It is also important to keep your body and skin hydrated after a cupping session. After all, Ventosa stimulates your blood flow, kick-starting your lymphatic function to flush out toxins from your body.

You need to help the cupping session flush out toxins by hydrating, and drinking caffeine or alcohol does the opposite – it actually dehydrates you. As a general rule, stay away from alcoholic drinks for at least a day following cupping therapy.

What to Do After a Ventosa Massage

  • Keep warm

Protect your open pores and sensitive skin after a cupping session. Keeping warm will keep you comfortable and protect you from the cold and wind that are more vulnerable to after the treatment.

In some cases, you might feel body aches and flu-like symptoms after Ventosa. This is not uncommon, and usually, you don’t have anything to worry about. These symptoms are short-lived but keeping yourself warm with a heating pad will usually help relieve any aches and discomfort you may be feeling.

  • Drink a lot of water

Cupping therapy helps move around built-up toxins in your body, but the therapy won’t flush them out of your system. What will fully remove the harmful toxins from your body, however, is water. So make sure you keep yourself hydrated after a Ventosa massage.

  • Get enough sleep

As mentioned above, it’s normal to feel slightly fatigued after cupping therapy. Don’t fight your body’s urge to rest and get more sleep following a session. But whether you feel slightly tired afterward or not, it’s still important to give your body ample time to recover.

Rest is necessary to speed up healing after any form of massage therapy.

  • Shower with filtered water

If you need to shower, do so at least three hours after a cupping treatment, using filtered water. This will help avoid reintroducing toxins and unnecessary chemicals into your skin after your body flushes out built-up toxins.

Making The Most of Your Cupping Sessions

Cupping treatment is a fantastic way to help detox your body and treat all sorts of skin conditions and other general health and wellness issues. This form of massage therapy is not painful at all, but it’s also not uncommon to experience some side effects after a session. These side effects can include slight fatigue and some flu-like symptoms.

Everyone has a different response to cupping. Whether you experience these side effects or not, it’s important to be gentle with your body and give it the rest it needs after the therapy. 

Following a cupping session, avoid hopping right into the shower for the next three to six hours. The longer you can wait, the better. Remember, giving your body the time to heal after treatment will ensure that you are also giving the cupping therapy a chance to be effective.

Chantelle Farrell

Chantelle is a professional cosmetologist who runs her own skin care clinic Amaranthine Aesthetics. She specializes in anti-aging treatment and natural skin care procedures that restore skin beauty and keep it healthy over time.

As a skin care expert, Chantelle enjoys sharing her advice about reliable skin care products, techniques, and aftercare procedures. She believes that everyone should take care of their body and skin and can do that effectively when armed with proper knowledge.

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