Cupping is an ancient technique that involves the application of glass or plastic cups that have had the air forced out of them to create a vacuum.
Placing these cups on the body draws blood to the region and promotes relaxation, pain relief, and the movement of Qi. The sensation is deeply relaxing and pleasurable, akin to a massage.
Cupping may be used alone or in combination with needling to address health concerns, particularly pain. This technique leaves circular marks that may take days to disappear, but these are usually not painful.
Cupping is favored by elite athletes (think Michael Phelps) and others who regularly engage in intense physical activity.