What is Cupping?

Cupping is one of the many modalities used in Acupuncture treatments. It is used for multiple types of conditions, some of which include: headaches, back pain, musculoskeletal conditions, digestive complaints, menstrual disorders, and herpes zoster. 

Cupping improves local circulation of blood, releases tight muscles, and causes an anti-inflammatory effect. It encourages relaxation of the muscles by widening the blood vessels and in turn stimulating circulation. 

There are different types of cupping including plastic vacuum cups and glass cups. The glass cups use traditional fire cupping, in which a flame is inserted into the cup and when it is placed on the skin, the skin is drawn upward into the cup. The cup can be left on for 5 to 15 minutes.

 

Depending on the amount of stagnation, cupping may leave marks. These are not bruises as the blood vessels do not break. The vacuum simply draws blood to the surface and it will usually dissipate within 3 to 7 days.