Cupping is a therapy designed to stimulate the flow of blood and energy within the superficial muscle layers. It is used for sore muscles, tension, neck pain, and even the common cold. Cupping therapy works by reducing the pain we feel in our bodies. In Chinese Medicine, pain is caused by problems relating to decreased circulation of energy and blood flow. This can be related to stress, hormonal imbalances, lack of blood flow, and temperature in the muscles and joints. Cupping therapy increases blood flow to help to speed up healing and relieve pain and stiffness.
Once the suction has occurred, the cups can be gently moved across the skin (often referred to as "gliding cupping). The suction in the cups causes the skin and superficial muscle layer to be lightly drawn into the cup. Cupping is much like the inverse of massage - rather than applying pressure to muscles, it uses gentle pressure to pull them upward. For most patients, this is a particularly relaxing and relieving sensation. Once suctioned, the cups are generally left in place for about ten minutes while the patient relaxes.