Hot Stone Massage vs Cupping [Which Is Better?]

Cupping and hot stone massage treatment are two of the most common alternative therapies for treating a variety of problems such as pain, stress, and muscular inflammation.

While both provide health advantages, there are several key distinctions between both therapies that you should be aware of before deciding on one over the other.

We will discuss the distinctions between them in terms of method, length, cost, whether are they painful, and when you should avoid each kind in this blog.

What is the Difference Between Hot Stone Massage and Cupping

1. Technique

1. Technique

Smooth, flat, heated stones, commonly composed of basalt (a kind of volcanic rock that holds heat), are put on particular sections of your body during a hot stone massage. Massage professionals will massage your body while holding warm stones.

Cupping is a traditional Egyptian and Chinese treatment that involves placing cups made of glass, plastic, rubber, or ceramic on particular regions of your body. Cupping is classified into two types: dry and moist.

When a therapist uses dry cupping, an electric flame is placed within the cup. After the heat is removed, the cup cools and generates an air vacuum. This causes your skin to pull up and your veins to protrude. The cups are then placed on your body for about three minutes. The vacuum aids in the removal of toxins from your body.

The therapist puts the liquid into the cups during wet cupping. He then warms it until it is boiling. He then takes off the cup and places it on your skin. The steam in the cup tugs on the skin, revealing veins. The therapist usually holds the cup for five minutes.

2. Duration

2. Duration

Cupping typically lasts 30-60 minutes, whereas hot stone massage can last 60-90 minutes depending on your needs and the area massaged, whether you want a full body massage or a highly focused massage.

For example, you only need a specific area focused on such as the shoulders, just the lower back and hips, or your arms.

3. Cost

3. Cost

A 30 to 60 minute cupping treatment usually costs between $60 and $80. While a hot stone massage may range from $85 to $150, the price rises if essential oils, special towel wraps, or other treatments are included.

4. Convenience – At home or In a Spa?

4. Convenience - At home or In a Spa

Hot stone massage and cupping may both be done in a spa, or the therapist can come to your house with all of the necessary equipment. You may also attempt cupping or hot stone massage if you are confident in your abilities.

However, in order to get the full advantages of cupping treatment or hot stone massage, you must have it performed by a certified professional therapist.

5. Does it hurt?

A hot stone massage is not unpleasant; nevertheless, you may suffer muscle spasms and pains for a few days following treatment.

Cupping depends on the portions of your body you put the cups. While applying it to the cups for treatment, a certain portion of your body, such as your face, hands, feet, ears, or scalp, may feel unpleasant.

You may also suffer minor bruises after the cupping therapy. The treated region may also be sensitive. Bruises on the treated region might persist for up to three weeks, depending on the toxins and stagnation in the area. More toxins and stagnation are indicated by darker bruises. Applying creams or lotions to the affected region may result in infection.

However, if you experience substantial discomfort during the hot stone massage or cupping, or if you notice anything strange while being treated, please notify your therapist.

6. Aftercare

You may feel the same way you did before your hot stone massage or cupping session ended. You may also experience dizziness. Here’s what you should do regardless of how you feel.

  • Hydrate: You’ve just moved a lot of toxins around in your body, and your body will require water to flush out your lymphatic system and thoroughly eliminate the toxins.
  • Stay Warm: When you loosen the toxins in your body, the blood transports them to your lymphatic system for disposal. This is basically the same process that your body goes through when you have a small disease, such as a cold.
  • Get Enough Sleep: It is natural to feel a bit tired when your body rids itself of pollutants. Don’t resist the impulse to sleep; it’s a normal component of your body’s detoxification and recovery process. Rest is important.
  • Caffeine, alcohol, sweets, meat and dairy products, and strenuous activity should all be avoided.

Cupping leaves markings; it’s a necessary component of the procedure. They usually vanish within 4 days. Cover them with the bandages your physician provided and notify them if they are still visible after four days.

Cupping Vs Hot Stone Massage [Comparison Summary]

AspectHot Stone MassageCupping
PurposeUsed to relieve tension in your muscles and lessen stress.Increases blood flow and aids in the release of stagnant energy
TechniqueUse Smooth, flat, heated stones composed of basalt. Massage professionals will massage your body while holding warm stones.A traditional Chinese treatment that involves placing cups made of glass, plastic, rubber, or ceramic on particular regions of your body. Classified into two types: dry and moist.
DurationLast 60-90 minutesLasts 30-60 minutes
PriceCost ranges from $85 to $150.Costs between $60 and $80.
ConvenienceCan be done in a spa, or the therapist can come to your house with all of the necessary equipment.Can be done in a spa, or the therapist can come to your house with all of the necessary equipment.
Is it painful?You may suffer muscle spasms and pains for a few days following treatment.A certain portion of your body, such as your face, hands, feet, ears, or scalp, may feel unpleasant. Also, you may suffer minor bruises after the therapy for up to three weeks.
Contraindications?Should be avoided in cases of skin rips or breaks, an infection, heart illness, thrombocytopenia, or a bleeding disorder.Should be avoided in cases of open wounds, scars, and muscle injuries.

So, Which Is Better, Cupping Or Hot Stone Massage?

Hot stone massages should be considered if you want to ease muscular tension and reduce stress.

Consider cupping if you want to increase circulation. Cupping promotes blood flow and the discharge of sluggish energy. This is especially helpful when you’re weary or anxious.

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