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Acupuncturist applying cupping treatment to patients back

Cupping is just one of the many tools available to acupuncturists to enhance a treatment. Cupping is a therapy used in Chinese Medicine where a jar is placed on the skin either via suction or through negative pressure created by fire. Cupping can be used for several conditions:
• Common cold
• Muscular skeletal pain
• Diarrhea
• Swelling
• Asthma

There are several types of cups that can be used:
1. Bamboo
2. Pottery
3. Glass
4. Vacuum suction cup

The cups are applied to the body in a variety of methods and can be left on for seconds or twenty to thirty minutes depending on the intended therapeutic effect. When the cups are left on the body there is usually a round mark left on the skin. For those of you who haven't experienced cupping you may have seen the circular marks on someone's upper back or neck.The mark can be an indication of blood stagnation in the body. From a diagnostic perspective, the practitioner can note improvement in the patient’s condition with the lightening of the mark through progressive treatments.

Cupping is relatively painless and is similar to a deep tissue massage and I find many patients not only enjoy but request cupping as part of their treatment.