Flash cupping and its effect on soft tissue elasticity


  • Natasha Jacobson McGill University
  • Mark Driscoll McGill University


Elasticity, in vivo, soft tissue, cupping therapy, suction


Cupping therapy is a growing treatment option for myofascial pain, however, the effects of suction on deeper tissues’ elasticity has not been well documented. As such, elasticity was derived using a novel device that employs a flash cupping technique to resect deeper fascia. Fourteen participants were recruited and tested with the device 5 cm subxiphoid on the abdomen and posterior calf muscle. Of results at the abdomen, 88% indicated immediate (within 30 seconds) increase in elasticity. At the calf, 64% of results indicated immediate increase in elasticity. In the short-term (1-3 minutes), stiffening occurred in 64% of results at the abdomen. Given results, it is of interest to consider the long-term effects of dry cupping on soft tissue elasticity to determine potential mechanical benefits of localized suction. The presented evidence of dynamic changes in elasticity may lend insight into the causes and treatment effects of myofascial pain.




How to Cite

N. Jacobson and M. Driscoll, “Flash cupping and its effect on soft tissue elasticity”, CMBES Proc., vol. 44, May 2021.