Cupping is an age-old therapy dating back to ancient Egyptian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern cultures.
Treatment involves creating a vacuum inside a glass cup by burning off the oxygen using alcohol-soaked cotton wool passed over a flame. The cup is placed gently onto the skin, which lifts up due to the negative pressure inside.
This increases local blood flow, bringing oxygen, nutrients and tissue repair factors into the area, thus promoting the body’s own natural healing capabilities. Lifting the skin also stimulates the lymphatic and venous capillary networks, enhancing drainage and the removal of metabolic waste products.
The cups are either left in place or moved around as part of a massage treatment to alleviate muscular tension and fascial adhesions and to promote tissue mobility and flexibility.
The degree of suction applied depends on the condition being treated, age, health-status and tolerance of the patient.
Cupping can be used as a stand-alone therapy or in combination with Acupuncture treatment. It should not be significantly painful, although stronger suction may leave dark circular marks on the skin for a few days, especially in fair-skinned individuals.