Our 30 Day “Cupping for Cellulite” Challenge in Review

23 Feb

Last week ended our 30 day “Cupping for Cellulite” challenge where a few of my fellow cellulite investigators and I used our body cups for a minimum of 10 minutes a day, six days a week.

Here are the highlights.

How to Be Consistent with Cupping

I received my cups a few months ago but I didn’t use them regularly.  The last thing I felt like doing in the middle of winter is standing around without my pants on.

In my interview with Keren Trabelsi, the creator of the Bellabaci massage cups, she recommends using the cups in the shower for 10 minutes a day.  This little tip helped me stay consistent with cupping throughout the challenge.  I didn’t miss a single day (excluding the one day a week I took off).  I even looked forward to having a few extra minutes in my warm shower in the morning.  I know it’s not good to waste water, but this is for science.  :)

About Cupping Marks on the Skin

When I used the cups on my legs in the shower, the bright lights enabled me to see that my skin would temporarily turn a marbled red and white pattern, revealing what I suspect are areas of blocked lymphatic flow.  According to this chart from CuppingTherapy.org, white marks from cupping signify blood and qi deficiency.

Keren talks about “parking” a cup in one spot to target trouble spots.  I used that technique on my legs often and never noticed a lasting mark from the cups afterward.

In addition to the 10 minutes of cupping I was doing on my legs each day, I also spent a minute or two using my facial cups in the evening.  One day I parked a cup on a spot on my neck and came away with a dark purple mark under my ear. Thank goodness for long hair!

According to the chart, a mark like that is indicative of moderate stagnation. I parked the cup over that spot because of a lump in my ear triggered by my latest fluoride detox effort.  Coincidence?  I’m not sure.

Detox Reactions to Cupping

In the cupping thread on our discussion forum, multiple women reported developing small red bumps on their skin after cupping.  We weren’t sure if this was a detox reaction or simply a sign of skin irritation.  In at least one case, the bumps stopped appearing after a week or two.

Cupping experts claim the bumps are a detox symptom.  I didn’t experience this effect from cupping, but it is similar to the reaction I had when I started dry brushing in 2007.

Cupping and Tenderness

When I first tried cupping a few months ago, my calves were extremely tender. The tenderness went away after several sessions, indicating less lymphatic congestion in that area.  When I started the challenge, I was now using the cups first thing in the morning instead of at the end of the day.  I noticed that my calves seemed tender on the days I did not get a full night’s sleep.  The lymphatic system is supposed to be more active at night, so I wondered if the tenderness had something to do with the interuption in sleep.

I’ve never been good at going to bed on time, but this observation motivated me more than anything to go to bed eight solid hours before my alarm went off.  When I woke up before my alarm clock, my calves were not tender during my morning cupping session.

Does Cupping Help Get Rid of Cellulite?

Of course, this is the question we’ve all been wondering about most. Did the 30 day “Cupping for Cellulite” challenge have a visible effect on cellulite?

A few women posted on the forum that they saw results.  ElizabethK writes:

But for me, I didn’t notice any real changes for 2 1/2 to 3 weeks. I can now use the cups on the tightest suction and the dimples on my thighs do not appear as defined. and let me tell you, they have been pretty defined this past year. So I am happy with what I’m seeing after only a month of using them.

Shannon and shirleyyogi reported similar results.

I did not notice a visible effect on my cellulite…  UNTIL week 4.  I was in Florida with my significant other for the last week of the challenge. I wore a dress one day and he asked if I was using the cups on my calves because they looked really good!  I checked them out and he was right.  Even when I crossed my legs and pushed up on the calf muscle, they didn’t look all soft and dimply like they used to.

So our 30-day “Cupping for Cellulite” challenge concludes the way so many cellulite treatment reviews tend to do: minimal results were visible, further investigation is required. 

Lucky for you we aren’t just any old cellulite treatment reviewers.  We are professional cellulite investigators!  If more investigation is required, we’re gonna do it.

Announcing a 30-day extension to our “Cupping for Cellulite” challenge. Come join us!  Check out the cupping discussion thread to learn more.

A Cellulite Investigator Update

Thanks for stopping by The Cellulite Investigation.  Things are a little quite around here at the moment.  I’m taking an extended break as I get married and settle into married life and a new home.  Don’t worry, I’ll be back soon!


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Teresea Carson, LMP says:

Excellent article, Melissa! I love the link to the skin discolorations.

Daisy says:

There’s so much to love about this blog! Thanks for creating it, and keep up the good work! I will definitely be following the continuation of the “Cupping for Cellulite” challenge.


Thanks, Teresea!!

Daisy–that’s great to hear! How are your cupping efforts going these days? Any little clues to add to our case file? :)

Daisy says:

I only have the facial cups, but I confess I was using them on my legs. Is that a bad idea? Or will they just not be as effective? I backed off, because I’m already prone to spider veins and was afraid that it might make them worse. Any thoughts, anybody? I definitely noticed that the “dimply” spots hurt the most when I was cupping. I tried using the cups on my face first, and had massive, hideous breakouts down my neck; once again, I can’t prove the cups caused them, as I’m working with a naturopath on other areas, and it might have just been detox. I was cautiously doing just one leg so I can compare results, but if I start up again (after some reassurance about spider veins!), I think I’ll do both because I would hate to have one leg dimply and the other not!


Ha! The old one-dimply-leg dilemma. I’ve run into that one before!
I think it’s fine to use the facial cups on your legs, they are just smaller so they won’t cover as much area in the same amount of time. I was hesitant about spider veins, too. I have a lot of them as well which is I suspect is another side effect of the lymphatic congestion in my legs caused by fluoride. I asked the creator of the Bellabacci cups about contraindications for cupping during our interview. She said you shouldn’t use them if you have varicose veins, but they are great for spider veins. I started using them more on my spider veins recently. I haven’t noticed any effects one way or the other, but ask me again in a few weeks.

Manu says:

Hi, Melissa! I don’t have any problems with my calves, and was wondering if the cups could be used directly only on the upper part of my legs (where there’s cellulite) or if I would have to start from the calves.


You can use them wherever you think they are most needed. You don’t have to start at the calves and work up. Good for you, to have half your legs cellulite-free already! :)

tina says:

I’ve been using the cups for about a month. I’ve noticed a fair difference in my cellulite. My dimples when starting were a sever stage 2, I would say they are only moderate now. I have two deep spots on the outer area of both thighs, I park the cups there for up to a minute. Interestingly those deep spots are where I was able to note the most difference. They deep pockets have risen and are almost at level with other areas of cellulite on my body.

I’ll continue to use the cups in combination with everything else I’m doing. Because I do believe it is working.


That is fabulous news, Tina!! It’s great that you are able to notice improvement in those deep spots. I have a few of those that I keep my eye on and they don’t seem to be budging! I see subtle improvements in other areas, but the three deep “dimples” I check on are still coming through loud and clear. I’m encouraged that the tender spots are greatly reduced, though. Hopefully that is a sign that the craters are on their way out.

Crystal says:

I am so happy to find this site!
I have a great interest in fighting cellulite and see your site is EDUCATIONAL, SERIOUS, and KIND “)
I ordered my cups on Amazon last night, I already skin-brush, ( one of the first things I ever learned to do for cellulite prevention & removal). I am surprised you have not mentioned Essential Oils (i.e. Clary Sage, Geranium, Lavender, & a few others) used in hot baths, after skin brushing, soaking at least 20mins. to absorb the oil These oils are awesome for toning the skin, I have had AWESOME results both on my arms and legs. I read about this from a book I bought in the 90’s. It was so HARD to find ANYTHING about cellulite! I believe the book was called “Beyond Cellulite” by a woman from Europe. It was very very useful, she wrote about many things I still find true today, Lymphatic system, Sodium/Potassium imbalance, skin brushing, self-massage etc.
At any rate I am a firm believer that we have the power individually to combat our common foe!! At homeopathic versions are my favorite! I am in control, no embarrassment and low cost!!
Thanks so much for this site!!


I read that book, too! Nicole Ronsard was a trailblazer. I wrote about her book here: Cellulite File: “Beyond Cellulite” by Nicole Ronsard. You’re right, it is so hard to find decent sources of info on the blight. There’s a lot of “same old, same old” out there. I’m glad you’re on the case with us!

Essential oils are on the topics I would love to explore more on the site. I dabble with adding oils to my baths, maybe rosemary or lemongrass or something I read that helps lymph circulation, etc. But there is so much more to learn about essential oils. If you know of any experts, I would love to interview someone about this on our new radio show.

Ashley says:

Thank goodness for these cups! I have been fighting my cellulite since I was 16 (now 29) and I have tried everything under the sun to correct the problem. Nothing ever seems to work……………until I ran into these cups while browsing solutions online. I decided to order the Bellabaci Cups. I started using them about three weeks ago. I have nice shaped legs with an ugly little problem. Thank goodness for capri pants! I wish I could say that one massage takes the cellulite away however this is not the case. You have to be dedicated and consistant. I have been doing this since June 1st and I am on week three. I have not missed one massage. I massage each leg 15 minutes each night in the tub. The first week it hurt really bad especially the areas where the cellulite is more visible. I also noticed little red bumps. I never got cupping marks which was great though. The second week I started to build up tolerance and I could litterally mash my dimple areas and feel the tissue breaking up. The red bumps went away. This week I am noticing smoother more firmer skin as well as less noticable dimples. It actually feels good to massage at a harder deeper suction then it did at first. The more dimply areas still hurt a little but not near as bad. I am extremely confident in the Bellabaci Cups and believe that within time I can correct my cellulite. I can’t wait till the end of next week to see more improvement but, I will tell ya it works! I actually put a pair a shorts on because I felt that much better about the appearance of my cellulite. Love Love Love this site!


Awesome!!! Thanks so much for the update, Ashley! The cups are amazing, aren’t they?! What technique are you using for cupping? Or do you just kinda run them in any direction until tme’s up?

Emily says:

Hi Ashley, I was about to write a comment but actually I can just second yours. My experience has been almost exactly the same. The pain really turns into more of a “sweet” kind after a while, similar to when you’re deeply stretching your muscles. My cellulite and the skin tone of my thighs and buttocks were terrible, but now for the first time I’m actually looking forward to wearing shorts and bikinis on an upcoming beach vacation! More women need to know about this.


That is fantastic to hear, Emily! Thanks for sharing your experience with this! How long have you been using the cups and how long would you say it took to see a difference?


That is fantastic to hear, Emily! Thanks for sharing your experience with this! How long have you been using the cups and how long would you say it took to see a difference?

Emily says:

I bought the cups early this year. I noticed a major difference in how the skin and tissue around my thighs felt immediately, they sort of loosened up if that makes sense. My thighs were actually sore to the touch before because of the cellulite (and the circulatory and lymphatic issues that go with it), but it took one session of cupping to relieve this problem that I had for years. The first session was excruciatingly painful, but so worth it.

I think it took only a week or two of cupping every other day to actually see more of an improvement than I’ve had with any other method, including exercise. I did get a little lazy and after the first weeks I’ve done it only about twice a week. Had I been more consistent with the cupping I’m sure my results would be even better now. I’d say after 6 months of cupping about twice a week the cellulite has reduced by 60% or so. And that’s being modest. My only complaint is that cupping makes me bruise a bit, which is not great in the summer months. But I think that’s still a very small price to pay for such results.


Emily, this is amazing!! How exciting! 60 percent is fantastic. I know exactly what you mean about the tissue “loosening up.” I had that feeling too. Would you say you are still seeing improvement or has it plateaued? I feel like I saw more improvement in the first few months, but I was also using the cups a lot more then. I’m in the middle of a move now and it’s more difficult to find time. But thankfully my schedule should open up a lot more once I settle into my new place in a few weeks. Can’t wait!

Thanks again for your comment! Great news!

Sevhera says:

yay to cupping…Here is what I do to fight cellulite.. I don’t necessarily work out religiously – I have been green juicing for 2 weeks now (just in the mornings) and I do about 100 (4 sets of 25) squats or lunges whenever i blow dry my hair (3-4 times a week) I also try to do 15-25 squats every time i go to the bathroom (at work) – I take Kelp capsules (thank you Dr. Oz- u can find them in any health store) and I swear they work!(well for me anyway – getting rid of cellulite is just one of the many benefits) – I also dry brush before showering and put coconut oil after showering and now i started cupping after applying the coconut oil.. Huge difference! [not exactly sure if it’s working because of the combination of all of the above or what but I’m not going to stop anything and just keep going!


AWESOME!! That’s a fantastic routine. I should start taking kelp again. I was taking kelp capsules a few years ago, but that’s before I figured out my skin condition. They are rich in iodine and I’ve since learned have a sensitivity to it because of my fluoroderma (acne caused by fluoride). Iodine is one of the nutrients that displaces fluoride from the body. I haven’t been able to take iodine supplements because the detox reactions are too strong, but I could probably handle a kelp pill or two a day and build my way up. Thanks for the reminder, Sevhera!

I’m glad to hear the cups are making a big difference! Are you using the Bellabaci cups or another brand? Any special technique? Just curious. :)

Ashley says:

HI Melissa,

I just run the Bellabaci cups in a circular motion and I zig zag them up and down my thighs. I noticed my skin is getting tighter. I also use the softer one on my upper arms. I really think it is helping to firm the upper under arm flab that us woman tend to get. I am a skinny fit person. I exercise everyday. Sometimes I wonder if drinking coffee contributes to this cellulite problem. I mean I only drink one cup in the morning but, I have heard that coffee can cause the toxins to build up and then cause the dimpling effect. Problem is I love my coffee. Not that you guys all want to hear this but, I think my cellulite looks worse right before my cycle. I also had my tubes tied after my second child and I think my body changed after that. Hormones went nuts! Cellulite got worse! Sometimes I can look at it and live with it but other times I think to myself why could’nt I have been in the ten percent range with woman who do not have this ugly little problem.
Emily…………….. I think you are so right girl about other woman needing to know about these cups. I would have never known about them untill one night of searching solutions online. I do not do creams becauseI know they do not work. I will spread the word about these cups and maybe one day I can be a perfect example of what they do for you. I will massage my legs everynight untill I see it completely gone! I am a 100% confident that I can make it go away. This is by far the best solution yet. :) Cheers to being cellulite free one day!


Hi, Ashley! Thanks for your comment. Sorry it took me a while to get back to you. I’ve been on a mini blogging break this summer. So glad to hear you are seeing results with the Bellabaci cups. I agree, we should spread the word. The more women we have testing these out, the more positive feedback we seem to get. I don’t think I’ve heard from anyone who really didn’t like them. In the new web design I’m working on, there is a “product lab” where people can write reviews (and rate other reviews). I’m hoping it will help us figure out which products are worth using. Sound like the cups will be towards the top of the list. We’ll see!

btw, I’ve noticed my cellulite looks worse when my body is retaining water. Do you experience bloating from PMS? Maybe that could be what’s causing the increased appearance of cellulite?

Ashley says:

Hi Melissa,
I do believe that the bloating may cause the cellulite to look worse. This is my ninth week of cupping (have not missed one night) and I can honestly say now I have to squeeze my legs to see the cellulite. I do however notice the dimpling during my cycle. I also do have one problem area that I am having trouble breaking up with the cups. I was using the cups in a circular motion but, now I started trying them straight up and down my leg, I feel like it is smoothing them in a different direction. Reason I started doing this is because I noticed when I do the zig zag effect, I started to see a pattern in the way it is breaking it up. It is a pain to do every night but, it is worth it to see results. I told my husband I can’t wait to see what my thighs will look like by summer next year. ***************Ashley********************

Lynette says:

Hi I’m in Australia. Where can I purchase the cups and how much etc. thanks


Hi, Lynette. If you have Amazon, you can buy them there. You can also order them directly from Bellabaci. I haven’t tried the ones from this shop, but I would if I lived in Australia! http://www.healthtraditions.com.au/shop.htm

Destinee says:

I’m 19 years old, 5’8 and 125lbs. Cellulite has haunted me since I was 13! I gained a lot a weight in my early teens which gave me cellulite and stretch marks. I just bought the cups and I will report back to see if it works on me! Hoping for the best!! Thank you for everything on this site! <3


Can’t wait to hear what you think, Destinee!!

jaysa says:

I’ve been cupping for about 3 month now but haven’t seen any difference in my skin yet. Am I doing something wrong? Plz help!! Thanx.


Hi, Jaysa. What are your cupping sessions like? How often do you use the cups and for how long? Have you noticed any effects at all (any marks on the skin, redness afterwards… anything like that)? Also, how long have you had cellulite and what’s your general health condition otherwise?

I doubt you are doing it wrong. Cupping isn’t all that complicated. I’m sure it’s not the cure-all for everyone so I’m just trying to gather more info about your particular experience. Thanks for your comment!

Victoria says:

I’ve been battling with Cellulites since I was 15, I’ve tried everything under the sun and it has failed. I recently bought the Bellabasy cups and decide to give it a try. It’s my first use and I will admit, it’s painful as mentioned by so many before and I’ve noticed that on my first try I was left with several red blotches on my legs, I’m hoping that this is normal, because I’m a little nervous about the marks on my legs. I’ve also noticed that the same blotches are tender to the touch which from reading other reviews seems to be expected. I will continue the massages though and hopefully see results – I’ll keep you posted Melissa hope all goes well and I see some results soon……

Liza says:

Amazing blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?
A design like yours with a few simple tweeks would really make my blog jump out.
Please let me know where you got your theme.


William says:

I am a certified Cupping Therapist I have taking the courses through ICTA’s website that you referenced. I am happy to answer any questions you or anyone else has on cupping for cellulite treatment and facial cupping as well. One thing I will say is that there are some very subtle but important techniques when using the cups that can increase the results of both facial and cellulite cupping.

Katharine says:

Hi William,

That’s very generous of you to offer your knowledge and assistance – I’d love to know any tips for using the cups on my thighs.



Theresa says:

Hi William,
I would be interested in learning more about the proper techniques for cupping on the legs and face. I would love if you would share them.

Thanks so much,

Megan says:

I just started using the cups this week and I am quite hopeful from what I have read. I have noticed that when I use them my legs get all pink and red splotchy… by the time I get out of the shower its usually gone but it kind of freaked me out the first time. I have not found much information online about this. Thanks for the great advice so far. I look forward to seeing results soon.

William says:


What your experiencing with the redness is called hyperemia, it is a perfectly normal and healthy skin response to cupping. basically your increasing the blood flow to that part of your skin through the suction of the cups. Sometimes if you leave the cups on too long in the same spot you can get areas of Petechiae(minor blood leakage from skin capillaries), or small amounts of cellular debris that can be released from underlying tissue(can be purple brown or black sometimes). This is a response your looking for more in a detox scenario rather than your cellulite treatment. Let me know if you have any questions.

Nicole says:

I am a solo cellulite investigator and psyched to find your website! I rub coffee grounds on my thighs every morning in the shower and have a Wellbox which is a vacuum like roller. I just ordered the cups as well as Birch Oil. I’ll let you know what happens.

Patti says:

Hello everyone :) I am 51 yrs young;) and I have tried everything..back in 93 I went on a diet that was very low in salt & fat and watched as the fat melted off my thighs! It was amazing!! I just find it hard to be as disciplined as I was at 30:( so I’ve been searching for different techniques And came across the cupping..I am only on day 2 and I notice a lot of redness & heat when doing the cupping technique so it really feels like it’s working. I have been also cupping across my lumbar because of low back pain. It’s great to read everyone’s comments!

Feather says:

I just started to use the cups for a week. It’s really working already. But it’s extreamly painful. I just have to deal with it. I read above it gets better. Hopefully. I’m glad I found these cups.

Latisha says:

Good day! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established
blog. Is it hard to set up your own blog?
I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick.
I’m thinking about making my own but I’m not sure where to start.
Do you have any tips or suggestions? Cheers

Winona says:

Melissa- were you compensated by Bellabaci to use the cups? I tend towards being skeptical with everything- especially cellulite beauty treatments! I think I will still purchases these cups because it wouldn’t hurt to try it! I am thin and fit and still have cellulite. It’s so cruel!

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