Cupping therapy is a medical treatment with an archeological record in China that extends into the last several centuries BCE. Though equipped early in Chinese medical history, the use of cupping therapy has been a part of numerous cultures throughout the world.
Cupping utilizes negative pressure that is created in a glass “cup” using either fire in order to mobilize qi, fluids, and stagnating blood that is trapped in knotted or densely compacted muscle and connective tissue. When qi and blood stagnate they inflame tissue and cause chronic pain and tissue denigration. Cupping draws the attention of the guard qi to remove obstructions and promote free coursing, the act of which encourages correct circulation to allow for fresh blood and oxygen to return and initiate the healing process.
Treatment with glass cups may result in sub-cutaneous blemishing, which usually takes 2–4 days to fade.