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cupping therapy on upper backCupping has been used for thousands of years and has its roots in China. This therapy involves placing cups on the skin to produce suction. The suction may promote healing with blood flow.

Cupping increases blood circulation to the area where the cups are placed. This action may alleviate muscle tension, which can improve overall blood flow and promote cell repair.

What to Expect

During a cupping session, the practitioner will place a cup on the skin and then heat it or suction it onto the skin. The cup is often heated with fire using alcohol, herbs, or paper that’s put directly into the cup. The fire source is removed, and the heated cup is placed with the open side on your skin.

Conditions Cupping Can Treat

  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Back pain
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Headaches
  • Knee pain
  • Shoulder pain

Frequently Asked Questions

Because the suction force from cupping breaks open small blood vessels under the skin, you will have round bruise-like marks. These will fade in a week or two.
Because researchers don’t know much about cupping’s effects on pregnancy, moms-to-be should not have this therapy.

You should also forego cupping if you have bleeding disorders, blood clotting problems, or skin conditions including eczema or seizures.

Though it shouldn’t be considered painful, the suction created during the therapy may result in some discomfort.