One way to think about cupping is that it is the inverse of massage. Rather than applying pressure to muscles, the suction created by the cups uses pressure to pull skin, tissue and muscles upward. Frequently cupping is combined with acupuncture into one treatment, but it could also be used alone.
Cupping involves placing glass or plastic jars on the skin and creating a vacuum by suctioning out the air. The underlying tissue is raised, or sucked, partway into the cup. The purpose of cupping is to help improve circulation, relieve pain and remove toxins that linger in your body's tissues.
You usually will feel a tight sensation in the area of the cup. Often, this sensation is relaxing and soothing. Depending on problem, cups may be moved around or left in place. Treatment usually takes about 10 minutes. One very common area to be cupped is the back, although cups work well on other areas, too — particularly on fleshy sections of the body.
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