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26th Apr 2019

I Tried Massage Cupping In Dublin – Here’s How I Got On

Éadaoin Fitzmaurice

I’m a sucker for the weird, wonderful and downright outrageous.

On a late night Instagram scroll a while back I stumbled upon a very odd looking situation. There was a man with all of these glass domes on his back. It kind of looked like the Kylie Jenner lip challenge but instead of people being left with duck-sized smackers, they had these circular purple bruises the whole way down their back like a dragon.

Obviously my initial thought was: I NEED TO TRY THIS. 


Massage cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine. Glass or wooden cups are applied onto the skin and a suction is created, pulling the skin up to increase blood flow to certain areas of the body and release muscle tension. It’s pretty trendy at the moment and you’ll often see athletes going around with red circles on their back as a result.

This week for Tried And Tested I gave cupping therapy a go!

I headed to Physicare in Artane to see exactly what the process involved.

I met with Darren, who owns Physicare, and he took me through the steps and what results I should achieve. He was super friendly, professional and really made me feel at ease even though he was sticking fire-filled glass cups to my back.

He was super sound and even cracked my neck, back and hips to align my hips.

(Apparently my left leg was shorter than my right!)

After that, we got down to business. Darren started putting the cups on my back. The first one gave me a bit of a shock as it’s a really weird sensation but after that I found it fine. You can really feel it lifting the skin and how your muscles react to it.

He put twelve glass cups down along my back and then I lay flat on the bed for about thirty minutes. Some areas were definitely more tender than others and I could really feel the cups working their magic.

It’s a very unusual sensation having twelve glass cups stuck to your back; it’s light but also quite heavy, tight but also a lovely stretch to the back. It’s not painful, it just feels like getting a deep tissue massage in several places at once.

I flinched a little getting them off but after I stood up I felt like a Stretch Armstrong after moulding back into its original shape. It was as if I had done a few hours in the gym or an intense yoga class – tender but after getting a deadly stretch in.

I headed back to work that day and my back was quite tight during the day. My bruises also turned from red to a deep shade of purple. One of the girls in the office said it looked like twelve slices of beetroot on my back, but I really didn’t mind it though.

The evening after getting it done I was absolutely exhausted, physically and emotionally and this continued into the second day. My back was pretty tender any time it was touched. It eased off after this and I really did feel fresh.

Overall Thoughts

I’d definitely go back to Darren in Physicare to get cupping therapy again. The whole experience was great, he was amazing and my back felt great after it.

First day f cupping:


Third day:

The bruising (even by the third day) had really gone down and the skin was no longer raised. I’d say that it will all be gone within a week or so.

If you’re heading to a wedding or exposing your back in any fancy way, maybe avoid getting this done until after because it does leave very distinctive marks on your back for one to two weeks.

This is one of the most interesting procedures I’ve ever gotten done and I really enjoyed the experience.

To learn more about the treatment I received, visit Physicare Dublin.