Cupping is a therapeutic method of applying a cup to the skin by creating a partial vacuum to take advantage of its function of negative pressure and warming. The vacuum is created by burning or air-extraction from the cup.
Cupping can promote and increase blood circulation, resolve swelling, relieve pain, help rid the body of common cold symptoms, improve an acute or chronic cough and much more! It is used extensively in internal medicine, surgical, gynecological, ENT, and dermatological diseases. Cupping is not painful and does not cause any wound to the skin, but circular marks where the cups were placed over the skin may be seen depending on the amount of stagnation in the local area. These marks may appear pink, red or purple, but will fade over 3-5 days after being cupped.
Immediately after a patient is cupped, it is advised to keep the area covered and refrain from showering for 24 hours. It is also recommended to stay away from fatty, greasy foods for a few day following a cupping treatment.
There are several cupping methods. The most common are fire cupping, liquid cupping, and suction cupping. The other methods include: flash cupping, retained cupping, moving cupping, cupping with needle retention, and bleeding cupping.