Cupping Therapy for Headaches

My name is Angela Tessier. I am a licensed massage therapist and certified cupping therapist at Ascension Wellness in Des Moines. My favorite type of treatment is massage cupping. I am continually amazed by how powerful cupping can be, especially for headaches.

I had a patient come in who has chronic tension headaches. On the day of her appointment, her headache was so severe that she did not want me to even massage her neck or head for fear of it being too painful. During the session, the patient wanted to try cupping for the first time to treat some low back pain. So that is what we did. At the end of the session, I usually turn patients face up and massage their neck and scalp. But since this patient wanted to avoid those areas, I asked if I could just try a little cupping on her neck instead. I only did cupping for about 5-10 minutes on her neck and did not massage there at all. 

At the end of the session, the patient and I were both amazed that the headache was completely gone! I usually spend a full hour doing deep tissue massage and trigger point therapy to treat headaches. I was shocked that the cupping could alleviate the headache pain in only 5-10 minutes.

The type of cups I use for the neck and face are called "bells." The bell cups are very gentle and are unlikely to leave cupping marks on the neck or face. They have an aspirator bulb on one end and a glass cup on the other. The glass is hand blown by a local artisan in the Pacific Northwest.  

For more information on cupping and headaches: