Cupping is another ancient therapy, which can be used over acupuncture points or other larger areas of the body. Although it can be used for a variety of problems, it is generally used in the treatment of musculo skeletal conditions, and is also particularly helpful for clearing colds and flu.
Cupping involves creating a vacuum inside a special glass, plastic or bamboo cup, which will draw up an area of skin within it. The suction created when a cup is applied helps to move Qi and Blood, which therefore relieves stagnation and pain. This can leave some red marks or bruising where the cups were placed, but it is an indication that blockages are clearing and they should start to dissipate within a few of days.
Different techniques are used - cups may be left in one place for up to 20 minutes, or a technique known as 'sliding cups' is used. In this method, cups are moved around a specific area or muscles of the body, on a previously applied thin layer of massage oil.