Cupping therapy dates back to ancient cultures and involves a therapist putting special cups on your skin to create local suction. A vacuum effect is created by using a pump at varying levels based on the location and your condition. The effect of cupping often creates a stretching or massage type effect which can help to reduce pain or inflammation as well as increase circulation to the area.
Often it can have an immediate effect in decreasing muscle tension. Cupping can serve as an alternative to other therapy techniques such as massage or instrument based tissue release as it uses pressure to pull the skin upward versus downward. This can often be useful in areas of nerve or tendon entrapment.
Cupping can create skin irritation or bruising in a circular pattern under the area the cup was applied. The severity of this is typically based on the intensity of the pumping applied, the location or the length of time the cup is left on. This bruising will typically go away after a couple of days.