What is Cupping Therapy?
Indications, Efficacy, and Side Effects

By Crystal Zhao

Cupping therapy is the use of glass or plastic cups to create negative pressure suction on the skin to increase blood flow in the applied area. Cups are usually applied to areas of pain or at acupuncture points to loosen muscles, draw out toxins, and stimulate blood circulation and qi flow. It can help many conditions: to ease aches and pains, relieve respiratory problems, mitigate coughs and wheezing, improve circulation, and reduce menstrual symptoms.

Cupping can leave bruises that can take a few hours to a week or more to fade. It is not recommended for treatment of bleeding disorders and disease. Sessions last 5 to 10 minutes and can be repeated once the marks from the previous session have disappeared.  For safe treatment, we suggest seeing a licensed acupuncturist.