shutterstock_93455320Cupping therapy is an ancient Chinese form of alternative medicine in which a local suction is created on the skin in order to mobilize blood flow in order to promote healing.

There are several ways to create the suction in the cups. One common method involves swabbing rubbing alcohol onto the bottom of the cup, then lighting it and putting the cup immediately against the skin.

Once the suction has occurred, the cups can be gently moved across the skin (often referred to as “gliding cupping). The suction in the cups causes the skin and superficial muscle layer to be lightly drawn into the cup.

Cupping is much like a reverse massage – rather than applying pressure to muscles, it uses gentle pressure to pull them upward. For most patients, this is a particularly relaxing and relieving sensation.

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