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What is Cupping Therapy?

Gayatri Haldankar
Cupping is an ancient technique practiced by the Chinese for healing many health conditions like asthma, bronchitis, constipation etc. Go through this Story to know more about this effective therapy.
Cupping is an ancient Chinese practice in which cups are applied on the surface of the skin to cause local congestion. It is a form of deep tissue massage in which pressure inside the cups is reduced either with the help of heat or suction.
Cupping therapy is practiced not only in China but also in many other Gulf and Eastern countries where it is known by different names. There are various types of cups that can be used in this therapy like plastic cups, bamboo cups, cupping glass, rubber cups, traditional cups and the most recent ones like vacuum cups.

Cupping Therapy

A traditional practitioner will examine the patient by checking his pulse rate and tongue. Patient is asked to lie down on a flat surface. Cups are applied to the surface of the skin and a vacuum is created by sucking out the air from the cup by means of suction.
This action draws up the underlying tissues, skin and flesh into the cups. The cups are left on the skin surface for about 5-15 minutes. The cups are then removed by applying pressure on the skin surrounding the cups. This will cause the outside air to leak into the cup, which equalizes the pressure and releases the cup.
This therapy is an extremely painless procedure. Due to the congestion of blood flow, the skin under the cup turns red. The procedure may leave bruises, which are painless and may remain for about a week. For this reason, cupping therapy is applied only on the areas that are covered like back or torso.

How does Cupping Therapy Work?

This therapy is based on the theory of meridians. It is believed that our body is governed by the energy channels called meridians, the blockage of which may cause many diseases.
Cupping works by opening, stimulating and energizing these meridians. When the meridians present on the back are opened, the energy flows to almost every part of the body. This therapy will also stimulate the blood flow to the painful or damaged muscles. Thus helping in quick healing.


Cupping is an extremely beneficial therapy, which gives a feeling of flexibility and lightness. It is a painless, safe and inexpensive therapy.
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Improves flexibility
  • Promotes energy flow
  • Loosens tight muscles
  • Stimulates digestive system and nervous system
  • Clears colon blockages
  • Causes the tissues to release toxins
  • Activates the skin, veins, arteries and capillaries
  • Activates the lymphatic system
The conditions that can be treated by cupping include:
  • Colds
  • High fever
  • High blood pressure
  • Sciatica
  • Muscle spasms
  • Joint pains
  • Stiff shoulders
  • Lung infections
  • Arteriosclerosis
  • Stroke
  • Vertigo
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Stomachaches
  • Migraines
  • Respiratory disorders like bronchitis and asthma
  • Gastric disorders like diarrhea, dysentery and constipation
  • Intestinal disorders
  • Kidney disorders
  • Gallbladder disorders
  • Gynecological Disorders
  • Liver disorders
There are as such no disadvantages of cupping. The only thing is that it can't be applied on the hairy areas.