Cupping therapy is a type of negative pressure massage where suction is applied to the surface of the body. Historically, suction was created by placing the cup over ﬁre, or a heat source to draw the air out of the cup and create a vacuum inside the cup. The cup was then placed on the body. This vacuum would create suction and the tissue would be drawn into the cup. More recently, there have been more simplistic and arguably equally as eﬀective methods to produce suction.
Cupping helps to stimulate the lungs, increase diaphragmatic function to deepen breathing and improve local blood circulation. Some studies demonstrate that the suction function of cupping draws the blood from as deeply as 5 cm inside the body toward the surface. We cannot doubt that blood is being drawn to the surface, as in many cases with cupping we can see the eﬀect of the mechanism through the deep red marks which sometimes occur. Many people believe that the red marks that are often seen after receiving cupping are bruises. This is actually not the case. Bruises are injury to the bold vessels, take several days to a week to heal and are painful to the touch. Cupping marks are from the eﬀect of the negative pressure eﬀect of the cups. They are not painful whatsoever, and no blood vessels are injured.
When the blood is blood drawn to the surface of the body, old and stale blood becomes more readily available to be cleaned by the lymphatic system. In this way, cupping has a detoxifying eﬀect on the system.
Cupping is considered to be beneﬁcial to treat the following conditions:
- Arthritic pain
- Headache and migraine
- Back and Body pain
- Edema and Swelling
- Sinus issues
- Abdominal Pain and indigestion
- Common cold and cough
- Painful Menstrual cycles
- TMJ issues
- Limited range of motion