Cupping is often used in conjunction with acupuncture and may be applicable in a range of muscular and inflammatory issues. Glass, plastic or rubber cups are applied to selected points on the body by using heat or vacuum to reduce the atmospheric pressure within the cup, drawing the skin and underlying tissue into the cup much in the same way a plunger works on a blocked sink.
Cupping is traditionally used to promote peripheral blood flow and healthy Wei Qi (the Chinese Medicine version of the immune system). Cupping can be a little uncomfortable initially. Marks on the skin that resemble bruises may be evident for a short time after cupping however this is a normal reaction and they fade relatively quickly.