HOW-TO Cupping Massage Points for Carpal Tunnel

Man's hand with carpal tunnel syndrome. Laptop and cell phone on a blue background.

Many people suffer from the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Fortunately, the use of massage cups can bring lasting relief and prevent carpal tunnel syndrome from getting worse.

As a whole, the best points to position massage cups for carpal tunnel syndrome are on the palm of the hand, over the carpal tunnel, and two to three massage cups positioned over the forearm flexors. Adding more massage cups to different points on the arm may or may not provide additional relief.

If you feel like you’ve tried everything to give your hands and forearms relief but are still in constant pain, massage cupping may be the best thing you’ll try! I’ll give you the best places to put massage cups to start feeling relief right away!

What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

If you have developed carpal tunnel syndrome, you may wonder: How on Earth did this happen?! Anything that we do over and over again, in the same way, over time, has the potential to cause damage to our bodies. Our bodies are dynamic and built to move.

Carpal tunnel syndrome seems to be more of a modern-age health problem. The types of work we seem to do every day now and how we do them greatly contribute to a more stationary lifestyle and repetitive movements.

Our technological-age lifestyles were supposed to make life better but have made it worse in certain areas. A lot of us are either working in an office, a home office, or constantly typing on our phones. We repetitively use the small muscles of our hands and arms more than they were probably designed to be used.

I know I started showing significant signs of carpal tunnel syndrome the first month I started working behind a computer in a doctor’s office. I had very physically demanding jobs before that, where I constantly used my hands, but never had carpal tunnel symptoms from them. Once I left the computer job, I didn’t have the pain return, so it was definitely the office job that brought on my carpal tunnel symptoms.

Bodyworkers such as Massage Therapists, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Reflexologists, and Chiropractors can commonly develop symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. These are physically demanding jobs where we use the muscles of our arms and hands with a good amount of force for significant periods of time.

In between clients, bodyworkers commonly have to type on computers or write down the details of the session that was given. If you don’t schedule a break in between clients, this doesn’t give you any time to do self-care such as stretching or massage. Doing this routine over and over again will catch up to you, or your wrists.

All of these repetitive movements, along with a lack of self-care, can contribute to the nerves becoming compressed in the forearm and hand. This happens because the soft tissues can become rigid and constricted from the incessant work and start pressing on the median nerve, essentially irritating the nerves of the forearm and hand.

When your nerves become irritated from compression, they send pain signals up to the brain, and the brain sends signals back to the area to become inflexible and possibly swollen to discourage chronic overuse as a way to prevent further damage.

Where Should You Place Massage Cups for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

If you don’t own a set of massage cups, you will want to get your hands on some. Owning massage cups is a smart investment since they’re durable and will need to be available for ongoing therapeutic cupping treatments. I own a set of professional quality massage cups that I got from a small business on Amazon. I use them on repeat and highly recommend them.

To begin with, use some form of lubrication. I like to use oils like coconut, grapeseed, or avocado. Spread the lubrication on the palm of the hand and on the entire forearm. Use this lubrication application as an opportunity to warm up the tissue with gentle massage strokes.

Coconut oil massage of fair-skinned woman's arms for carpal tunnel supping massage. Four massage cups sitting on top of a dark stained wood table top in the background.
I’m using organic coconut oil as my lubrication

Next, grab the cup size that fits the palm of your hand. Squeeze the cup only halfway before placing it on the palm. We will squeeze all of the massage cups only halfway so that the pressure is not too strong. If the massage cup pops off, try a smaller size massage cup in that area.

Silicone massage cup on the forearm of a fair-skinned woman. Three massage cups sitting on top of a dark stained wood tabletop.
Place your first massage cup here on the thickest part of the forearm

Next place the next smaller-sized massage cup just below the larger massage cup on the forearm.

Two silicone massage cups are placed on the arm of Sarah Galeano for carpal tunnel cupping massage. Background of medium dark wood table with one silicone massage cup sitting on top.
Use less suction if the massage cups are feeling too intense and uncomfortable

Then place the smallest massage cup directly on the carpal tunnel (your wrist), just below the last massage cup placed on the forearm. This will greatly reduce the pressure on the constricted myofascia of the wrist.

Three massage cups on the forearm of a fair-skinned woman's arm. One massage cup sitting on a dark wood tabletop in the background.
Placing the massage cup directly over the carpal tunnel will relieve true carpal tunnel syndrome pain

You can allow the massage cups to rest in a static position for three to ten minutes. This depends on your level of comfort. If the suction starts to feel uncomfortable, then you will want to release the suction regardless of the time.

As you become more accustomed to this treatment, you may want to start doing movements with the massage cups attached. You can do doorknob motions with the cups and glide up, down, and across the forearm.

Massage cupping glides on the forearm of a white woman with three massage cups sitting on a dark wood table in the background
Drag and twist the massage cup over the entirety of the forearm

With several treatments under your belt, you may want to start incorporating stretching with the massage cups on. However, do not do stretching too early since it can irritate the nerves even more. Wait until you have improved your carpal tunnel symptoms by at least 50% before incorporating stretching.

Treatment can be done daily, with a bare minimum of three times a week, to improve carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms.

If you would like to get this set of professional cups for yourself, click this link (I appreciate you using my affiliate link at no extra cost to you).

How Can You Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome from Getting Worse?

Incorporating regular cupping massage will allow you to maintain the improvement you have experienced with carpal tunnel cupping massage. Especially if you still have the same kind of work that led you to develop carpal tunnel symptoms in the first place. Taking regular mini-breaks during work to stretch your hands and arms in different motions will prevent the soft tissues from becoming chronically constricted and pressing on the nerves.

I recently started developing carpal tunnel pain in my right hand because I’m using my right hand to do everything. I have started using my left hand instead of my right over the past week, having massage cupping sessions, stretching, and using a massage gun to relax the muscles. The pain in my right hand and forearm is almost completely gone. This really works!

Self-care is a must to prevent your carpal tunnel symptoms from getting worse or reappearing. Making a schedule of stretching and cupping massage will allow you to make great improvements with your symptoms of numbness, pain, and swelling in your forearms and hands. Cryotherapy applications can be beneficial for the pain and swelling of the forearms.

Many people end up on prescription painkillers and the surgery table for carpal tunnel syndrome, possibly unnecessarily. Hopefully, by incorporating regular cupping massage you can find the sense of relief you are looking for and improve your carpal tunnel syndrome!

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The content in this article is for informational, entertainment, and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a trained qualified physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Galeano Massage nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, or supplements or those diagnosed with a medical illness should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement, or lifestyle program


I've been practicing Massage Therapy since 2014. I'm a health and wellness enthusiast. I'm always learning and experimenting with different techniques, recipes, and healing modalities. I believe that we need to approach health and wellness from a WHOLE-listic point of view and understand that it will constantly be changing and is never stagnant. We are all unique and what works for one person will not necessarily work for another person. As I grow, change, and experiment I will share what I have learned as it may help someone else in need.

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