Cupping is a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) technique where glass suction cups are placed on the skin using heat (usually a flame) which creates a vacuum. The cups draw blood to the surface and encourage the flow of energy. Cupping can clear stagnant energy and improves the circulation locally.
Cupping is often used by itself or in combination with acupuncture. Depending on the health problem; the cups can be moving or placed on certain acupuncture points. Cupping draws blood to the external capillaries of the body and as a result, minor short-lived bruises can occur.
Frequently Asked Questions
A burning flame is held inside the cup for a very short amount of time. Once the cup is hot, it is then placed on the skin. The burning flame exhausts all the oxygen in the cup and a vacuum is then created.
The cups usually stay on for only 5 to 10 minutes if done in conjunction with acupuncture. Occasionally, the treatment is done with cups only and according to the constitution of the patient the cups can stay on for 20 minutes. Cupping by itself can be a very good form of deep tissue massage.