Cupping is an ancient treatment where suction cups are placed over acupuncture points and skin. This is done trough different types of treatment methods. Fire cupping: a flame is placed into the cup using a piece of cotton dipped in ribbing alcohol which it lit. Once the flame is allowed to stay in the cup for several seconds it is removed and quickly placed over the area, since the burning off of the oxygen in the cup produces a vacuum.
The second method, is a manual vacuum cup: In this technique the doctor can regulate the amount of suction by how tightly the vacuum handle is pulled. In our office this is preferred method since we can customize the intensity of the treatment.
With each technique the goal is draw up the skin, fascia and muscles which increases stimulation to the area, and releases stuck or stagnant Qi or blood. It also releases tension in the tissues. Lastly since people generally receive slight bruises from the treatment, it is in fact stimulating an immune response.
Cups are placed on an area for typically 10 minutes. Cupping is used for the treatment of digestive conditions, lung or breathing disorders like cough and bronchitis. It is also used extensively in myofascial pain disorders.