This is one of the oldest manual therapies, with recorded use dating back to early fourth century. Thick glass or plastic cups are most commonly used today. With plastic cups, the cup is placed over the skin a pump mechanism is used to create suction. The partial vacuum generated causes the pores to open and creates an outlet for toxins and tension to be released. Its applications in respiratory illness are broad, which makes it an excellent choice of therapy. Cupping is most commonly used in the treatment of respiratory conditions, including: asthma, cough, bronchitis, as well as rheumatic conditions, gastrointestinal disorders and some types of pain.
In the muscles and joints cupping helps to release fascia restrictions, trigger points, and inflammation often not addressed by conventional massage techniques.
The cosmetic application of cupping is often used in the remediation of scars, stretch marks, and reduction of cellulite.
The action of cupping sometimes causes capillaries to break near the surface of the skin resulting in painless bruises that fade a few days after the treatment is performed.