In TCM, cupping is a method of applying acupressure creating a vacuum on the patient's skin to dispel stagnation—stagnant blood and lymph, thereby improving Qi flow—to help respiratory diseases such as the common cold, cough,pneumonia and bronchitis. Cupping also is used on back, neck, shoulder and other musculosketal conditions.
Cupping is used tohelp a broad range of medical conditions such as; blood disorders (anaemia, haemophilia), rheumatic diseases (arthritic joint and muscular conditions), fertility and gynaecological disorders, skin problems (eczema, acne) as well as improving general physical and psychological well-being.
Inside the cup is first heated, then the rim is applied to the skin forming an air-tight seal. As the air inside the cup cools it contracts forming a partial vacuum, enabling the cup to suck the skin, pulling in soft tissue, Alternately the suction is created by a hand-pump and blood is allowed to collect. It can leave temporary bruised but painless marks on the skin. Cupping produces feeling of relaxation and invigoration.