Cupping is a treatment that is used to move Qi (energy) and blood and to draw out heat and stagnation. Cupping is effective for treating pain, stiffness, fever, phlegm and other forms of stagnation. 

Lara Joffe Chinese Medicine || Cupping

Traditionally glass cups are used together with a small flame. The flame draws the oxygen out of the cup and then the cup is quickly placed on the skin creating a suction effect. (Modern cups often use a pump instead of a flame).

The cups are usually left on the body for 10-20 mins. When they are taken off they often leave a red/purple bruise, which may take a few days to clear. The bruising usually gives a good indication of the heat or toxicity in that area. If the bruise is very purple and takes a long time to clear, it is a sign that there is deep or long-term stagnation. If the bruise is red in colour and clears relatively quickly, this is a sign that there is heat in the system.

Cupping has become widely used in the West, by physiotherapists and other massage therapists. It is often combines within an Acupuncture or Massage treatment.