Cupping is the practice of using cups (typically made of plastic, glass, bamboo, or earthenware) to create suction on the skin for the purpose of increasing blood flow and thus promoting healing. It is a traditional Chinese medicine practice that dates back to over 2,000 years ago but that has received recent attention due to its use by world-class athletes for injury relief.
Cupping is generally a safe treatment for healthy people when performed by a trained health professional. Side effects like bruising and soreness are possible. While it is not definitive how cupping achieves healing, scientific research shows that cupping could be an effective, short-term treatment for pain and disability associated with chronic neck pain and chronic low-back pain. Share your complete health history with your therapist and they will discuss the benefits and possible side effects of cupping to make sure it is right for you.