Cupping is a beneficial modality in Traditional Chinese Medicine that is used by most acupuncturists. It is used to detoxify and promote blood circulation. It heals, relaxes muscles, reduces inflammation and stimulates acupuncture points. It most commonly treats inflammation, various types of pain and tension, injuries, fibromyalgia, asthma, cough, allergies, menstrual problems, and digestion problems.
Fire cupping is one type of cupping where a flame is inserted quickly in and out of a glass cup, and is then placed on the body (the fire doesn’t touch or come close to the body). The heat from the fire eliminates oxygen in the cup and therefore creates a suction/vacuum effect. This suction pulls the skin and tissue layers into the cup. As the tissues relax, more is pulled into the cup and reaches down to the deeper tissue levels. Cupping draws the old non-circulating stagnant blood and toxins up to the skin’s surface and away from the injury. This then restores healthy, free circulation in the affected area, creating space for oxygen and nutrients, which allows for faster injury recovery.
During the treatment, the pores open, the muscles relax, blood flow improves, toxins are removed, Qi is balanced, and blockages are broken up. Similar to acupuncture, cups can be placed along the meridians, typically on the back, but also occasionally on the legs, stomach, and arms.
Depending on the condition, the cups may be left on the skin for up to 10 minutes.