Cupping therapy is a form of alternative medicine in which a local suction is created on the skin. Through suction, the skin is drawn into the cup by creating a vacuum in the cup placed over the targeted area.
The cup is usually left in place for five to fifteen minutes. People get it done for pain, inflammation, blood flow, relaxation and well-being, and as a type of deep-tissue massage. You might get 3-5 cups in your first session or you might just try one to see how it works.
It’s rare to get more than 5-7 cups, the British Cupping Society says. Some people also get “needle cupping” where the therapist first inserts needles and then puts cups over them. Depending on the specific treatment, skin marks are common after the cups are removed. The marks may be in the form of a simple red ring that disappears quickly. The discoloration left by the cups is normally caused by bruising when the cups are dragged while being suctioned from one place to another to break down muscle fiber. Usually, these treatments are not painful. It helps treat pain, deep scar tissues in the muscles or connective tissue, muscle knots, and swelling.
According to The British Cupping Society, cupping therapy is used to treat:
Rheumatic diseases such as arthritis and fibromyalgia
Fertility and gynecological disorders
Skin problems such as eczema and acne
High blood pressure
Anxiety and depression
Bronchial congestion caused by allergies and asthma