Cupping refers to the ancient Chinese practice , where a glass cup is applied to the skin and pressure in the cup is reduced so that the skin and superficial muscles are drawn into and held in the cup.
This treatment is similar to some massage techniques and is very useful for releasing areas where pain is deep in the tissues and the area needs to be stimulated to move the blood and bring the circulation to the area where there is pain and stagnation.
When the cups are moved along the surface of the skin, , this sliding breaks up stagnation. Medicated oils are used with the cups, so there is some friction and heat warming the surface.
Cups are often left in place for 10 minutes. The skin will become red due to the congested blood flow. When the cup is removed, some bruising at the site of the cup can be expected.
Cupping is very effective for pain relief. As it is moving stagnant blood, there is usually a sense of relaxation in the muscle and in the body after the treatment.