Cupping is an ancient Chinese therapy in which local suction is applied on the skin. It mobilizes blood flow and hence promotes healing. It is particularly effective in helping circulation and detoxification. The earliest record of this technique can be dated to the early fourth century and it was then commonly combined with acupuncture treatment.Suction is created by placing an inverted cup over a small flame to burn out oxygen inside (Flames are never used anywhere near the skin), creating a vaccum. This is then applied to the skin. The cups can also be gently moved across the skin through the meridians. This results in relaxation and pain relief. Once suctioned, the cups are generally left in place for a few minutes while the patient relaxes.
Generally, cupping is combined with acupuncture in treatment, but it can also be used alone. Cupping can loosen muscles, encourage blood flow. Like acupuncture, cupping follows the lines of the meridians, therefore it can help to align and relax qi (energy) and open up these channels to help the body return to its ideal condition. Cupping is considered as one of the best deep-tissue therapies available. It can penetrate into the deeper tissues (unlike supreficial massage alone) and remove toxins and blockages. Dr. David Lee uses cupping to relieve back and neck pains, stiff muscles, anxiety, fatigue and migraines.