Cupping & Gua Sha


Jaay (Jade) Kulhawy-Bartlett, R.Ac.
Jade (JO) Oswald, R.TCMP.


Wed 3:00 – 6:45pm w Jade
Thurs3:00 – 6:45pm w JO
Fri3:00 – 6:45pm w Jade
Please note, last session available 45 minutes before the end of each shift.

Questions? Contact us .

Appointment information

Sessions are 30 minutes

NEW clients, $50-80 sliding scale (includes $10 paperwork fee)
RETURNING clients, $40-70 sliding scale
Clients with MSP, $22-42 sliding scale

About Cupping

Cupping therapy is an adjunct technique in which a local suction is created on the skin with the application of silicone cups. A provider places cups on your back, stomach, arms, legs or other parts of your body. Inside the cup, a vacuum or suction force pulls skin upward.

Ideal for chronically tight muscles, it helps to loosen layers of connective tissue (fascia) and relieves swelling, pain and tension. It is a great compliment to our Community Acupuncture service! Cupping Therapy at H&H is performed by a Registered Acupuncturist (R.Ac.) or Practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine (R.TCMP.).

Cupping is a therapy used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to remove stagnation and stimulate the flow of qi. Qi is the free flow of vital energy circulating through the body and the world around us, if the qi is disrupted or disturbed, it can create stagnation (blockages) or imbalances in the body.

If appropriate, your practitioner may incorporate acupressure and tui na style massage can be applied during the session to deepen the release of tension. “Tui na” (pronounced “twee naw” translating to “pinch and pull”), refers to a wide range of TCM body work. The gentle mobilization of joints and kneading of muscles of tui na to address specific patterns of disharmony while complementing the benefits of cupping.

About Gua Sha

Gua sha, is a simple and safe technique used to restore energy flow in areas of the body blocked by the invasion of external pathogens. It is a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practice ultilizing a smooth-edged tool to stroke your skin while they press on it. This motion raises small, red/purple dots that show under your skin called petechiae.

Practitioners believe that gua sha recirculates stagnant, unhealthy bodily matter from blood stasis within sore, tired, stiff, or injured muscle areas to stimulate new oxygenated blood flow to the areas, thus promoting metabolic cell repair, regeneration, healing, and recovery. We often refer to the use of gua sha on the upper back and neck “relieving/releasing the exterior”, that the mechanism of the scraping opens pores and restores the circulation of our Wei Qi.

Gua sha, the literal translation being “to scrape petechia” which refers to the sand-like bruising after the treatment, spread from China to Vietnam, where it became very popular. It is known as “cạo gió”, which roughly means “to scrape wind”, as in Vietnamese culture “catching a cold” or fever is often referred to as rúng gió, “to catch wind”.

Gua sha, a related technique to cupping, is sometimes referred to as “scraping”, “spooning” or “coining” by English speakers.

Common Side Effects of Cupping & Gua Sha

Bruising and small raised blood spots (ecchymosis) are common side effects following cupping and/or gua sha as the force of suction and/or scraping may break small blood vessels below the surface of the skin (capillaries) as well as drawing stagnant, trapped blood within muscle layers. The bruising is temporary and part of the healing process that stimulates new circulation in the surrounding tissues.

Will my health insurance cover the cost of Cupping & Gua Sha

YES! Cupping and Gua Sha are within the scope of Acupuncture and TCM, which is covered by most extended health plans in BC. Please contact your employer or extended health provider to find out about your coverage. The UVic Student Health Plan and Camosun College student plan also covers acupuncture fees.

However, due to the high volume nature of practice, we do not direct bill to Extend Health Providers. Our $40-70 sliding scale is also intended to be affordable to individuals who do not have extended health coverage and need to pay out of pockets for such expenses.

Direct Billing to MSP

For B.C. residents who qualify for premium assistance (an income of $30,000 or less) Medical Services Plan (MSP) will cover $23 per visit to a maximum of 10 visits of Community Acupuncture per calendar year. Find out more  

For more information, visit FAQ