Cupping is a gentle yet effective therapy used mostly for pain. It is used for similar conditions you would seek a massage therapist for. Cupping feels great! Glass cups are used with a small flame of fire to create a gentle vacuum under the skin pulling fresh, oxygenated blood up to the surface. It stimulates the lymphatic system to move old and stagnate blood out of the area and promotes the movement of fresh blood to heal the site and decrease pain. Often Chinese Topical Oils are used on the skin before applying the Cups. Many times people will notice a "bruise" after the cupping, however, the dark marks are not an actual bruise. The dark-color comes from the blood being pulled up to the most superficial level of the muscle. Ocassionally with people who have thin skin, they might even bleed a little bit with cupping. The marks can actually help us determine the health status, potentially, of the blood.
The darker the marks, the more probability there could have been an injury to the area. With very red marks we might guess the patient has a lot of extra iron in the blood which happens with a lot of inflammation. Some patients get white cupping marks which might indicate the possibility of an iron or B12 deficiency. Cupping can be a great extra way to help diagnosis pain syndromes.
Cupping can be used for back, neck, shoulder, leg, and menstrual pain. It can be used to help loosen phlegm causing a cough. Cupping is great for local tension and aches. Cupping is even safe during pregnancy.