Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine in which a therapist puts special cups on your skin for a few minutes to create suction. Clients receive cupping for many purposes, including to help with decreasing pain, calming inflammation, increasing blood flow, and improving overall relaxation.
Cupping is used as a type of deep-tissue massage, in reverse. Rather than the typical deep pressure, the underlying soft tissue, or fascia is pulled into the cup, releasing precise areas of discomfort or stagnation. Cupping pulls blood to a region to stimulate healing. It is effective at loosening tight fascia and helps the tissue develop new blood flow.
According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), cupping is a method of creating a vacuum on the patient’s skin to dispel stagnation (stagnant blood and lymph), thereby improving qi flow.