Cupping is a type of alternative therapy that originated in China. It involves placing cups on the skin to create suction. The suction may facilitate healing with blood flow. Cupping increases blood circulation to the area where the cups are placed. This may relieve muscle tension, which can improve overall blood flow and promote cell repair. It may also help form new connective tissues and create new blood vessels in the tissue.
Cupping has been used to treat a wide variety of conditions. It may be particularly effective at easing conditions that create muscle aches and pains. Since the cups can also be applied to major acupressure points, the practice is possibly effective at treating digestive issues, skin issues, and other conditions commonly treated with acupressure.
Cupping is traditionally used to treat lung disorders like:
Bronchial congestion, and
It is also traditionally used for:
Digestive complaints, and
Researchers have studied cupping primarily in China, finding benefit in conditions such as anxiety, depression, back pain, varicose veins, high blood pressure, eczema, acne, fertility, arthritis, fibromyalgia, diabetes, anemia, shingles (herpes zoster), insomnia, and gout.