Cupping therapy is an ancient form of Chinese medicine used release harmful toxins from the body, stimulate lymphatic tissues, increase circulation, and release fascial and soft tissue tension. Its use dates as far back as 3500 years ago not only by the ancient Chinese, but also the Egyptians, Greeks, and Europeans.
Cupping requires the use of a rounded glass or silicone cup. A vacuum is created by fire or suction and is immediately placed on the skin. This vacuum ‘sucks’ on to the skin and penetrates a few inches beneath the skin depending on the strength of the suction. Circulation is immediately increased to the local area around the cup, and this allows toxins to be removed, stimulates lymphatic tissues, and releases muscle tension by breaking down muscle fibers.
Cupping in physiotherapy is primarily used to release muscle tension and speed up recovery.