Cupping is a technique used in traditional Chinese medicine. Glass cups are placed on the skin with suction, which influences blood and energy to flow to that part of the body. Muscle pain can be due to blood stasis in the muscle or a lack of blood (ischemic) flowing through the muscle. The cup allows fresh blood to move to and through the muscle, fresh blood brings with it all the healing and immune function of the white blood cells which is why cupping is also very popular for respiratory disorders, cold and flu.
Cupping is a safe, non-invasive, and inexpensive technique.
Patients usually lie down for a cupping treatment. Cups are made of strong glass. To create a vacuum, a flame from a lighter or a burning cotton ball is placed in an upside-down cup. When the oxygen in the cup is burned off, the cup is placed directly on the skin, where it is held in place by a surprisingly strong suction. Often, the skin inside the cup visibly rises.
More than one cup at a time may be used to cover an area thoroughly. Cups may be left in the same place for several minutes, or removed quickly and placed elsewhere. Moving cupping may also be performed, by first rubbing the skin with a small amount of oil to allow the cups to slide around. After cupping, patients may remain lying down for several minutes. When cups are used to treat colds and lung infections, patients are advised to wrap up in blankets to stay warm after treatment. Acupuncturists may also prescribe herbal remedies, dietary changes, and other health recommendations.
Cupping should be performed by experienced professionals. Although it is a simple treatment, people should not attempt it on themselves. Improper glass vessels can shatter and cause injury, and cupping may cause bruising.
Cupping causes blood to be drawn to the surface of the skin, which can cause red marks, swelling, and bruising