The most common misunderstanding regarding the after effects of massage cupping is the potential marks that result from the treatment.

Where there is dead, static blood, lymph, cellular debris, pathogenic factors, and toxins present in the body, cupping can leave marks which indicate that the stagnation or disease has been moved from the deeper tissue layers to the surface, allowing fresh oxygenated blood to nourish and heal the underlying areas.

Some people may misinterpret these surface discolorations as bruising rather than the result of toxic agents being drawn to the surface, in part due to cultural vanity and concerns over domestic abuse. Once people understand what these marks are, and feel the results, their concerns typically dissipate.

The color and pattern of the marks depend on the level of stagnation in the area, and range from a light pink to dark purple, usually lasting from a few minutes to 14 days. Sites where there is old trauma or injury may require multiple cupping treatments to remove all stagnation. In follow up treatments the marks will be visibly lighter and lighter as the pathogens are systemically removed from the body.