Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine in which a therapist puts special cups on your skin for a few minutes to create suction. People use it for many purposes, including to help with pain, inflammation, blood flow, relaxation and well-being, and as a type of deep-tissue massage.
Cupping uses a cup to pull an area of skin into a suction that decompresses muscles and connective tissue, separating fascia from skin, and muscles from fascia.
This promotes blood flow to the compromised area, enhances circulation and helps to increase the body's own healing processes — almost like a backward deep tissue massage.
There are several different types of cups ranging from glass to silicone and bamboo, and there are different ways to use them. Sometimes practitioners will only use one or two cups. Other times, they’ll cover your entire back with cups. Two popular types of cupping: stationary and sliding. Stationary cupping uses suction only, keeping the cups in place for a set time, usually 5 to 10 minutes. Sliding cupping is more like a deep tissue massage where the provider moves the cups over the area of pain or concern.
Cupping benefits are the following: