Using a vacuum-like effect, glass cups are suctioned onto the skin. The suction is created by taking a cotton ball soaked in alcohol and making a flame. The flame is inserted and removed quickly to suck out the oxygen, and the cup is placed against the skin. At no time does the flame come in contact with the skin, and it is extinguished immediately after the cups are placed. Overall, this process creates a negative pressure that pulls the muscle into the cup, making it one of the best deep tissue therapies available.

What Does It Do For You?

Cupping follows the meridians and can help relax and align qi (vital or life force energy) as well as target imbalances by removing any blockages. When the channels are blocked the qi becomes restricted, affecting its flow and creating disharmony in the body. This can lead to pain and illness physically, mentally, and emotionally.

The suction and the negative pressure of pulling the muscle into the cup can loosen muscles, increase circulation, and sedate the nervous system (which would be calming).  It can also help release toxins, promote digestion, decrease pain, assist in relieving symptoms of PMS, improve fatigue, and – most effectively – treat respiratory conditions from a common cold to asthma. Cupping can also assist in certain cases of insomnia and emotional stress.

Side effects of cupping can include bruising and discoloration. This may last for a few days up to a week, depending upon the strength of the cupping session. If you are someone who has a bleeding disorder you need notify your practitioner.