Cupping therapy is a manual approach utilized to alleviate pain, reduce muscle and fascia tension, and encourage healing. The technique involves the use of plastic, glass, or silicone cups that are attached to the skin through suction.
This sets cupping apart from other manual therapies, as it provides a decompressive force to the tissues, creating a negative pressure that increases blood flow and triggers an inflammatory response to promote healing.
The therapist will typically apply the cups for 5 to 10 minutes, either stationary or by moving them around, and may also assist the patient in performing movements that are otherwise difficult due to pain or tightness. It should be noted that cupping may result in skin markings, the duration of which varies among individuals and can range from minutes to several days.