Cupping therapy is an alternative therapeutic method that has been popular in China since around 1000 B.C. Some records show that variations of cupping practices might actually be much older-possibly dating as far back as 3000 B.C.
People have it done for many purposes, including to help with pain, inflammation, blood flow, relaxation and well-being, and as a type of deep-tissue massage.
During a cupping session, the therapist targets soft tissue by applying cups and creating suction for a specified time. As blood flow increases within vessels and capillaries, tissues receive much-needed nutrients and oxygen. Cupping practitioners use this suction above or below specific sites, allowing for energy to travel along the "channels" (meridians) that pass through the area.
Cupping has been known to promote relaxation, boost skin health, help improve immune function, relieve muscle spasms, and have benefits similar to that of acupuncture.