Cupping utilizes a thick glass globe placed on the skin followed by creation of a partial vacuum, by warming the air in the cup with a small flame, or by a pump. The resulting suction pulls the skin up and affects the underlying fascia. The cups may remain stationary on the skin, or if oil is applied, can be slid back and forth over a larger area.
Cupping can be used for musculoskeletal conditions or the onset of a cold/flu, or for fever. Often a mark will be left on the skin that looks like a dark red or purple rash called “sha”. Chinese Medicine views the marks on the skin as stagnation that is being dissipated. The marks may last for a few days to a week, so be sure to let me know if you have an upcoming event (such as a wedding or a group photograph) where you don’t want the marks to show!