Cupping isn’t unique to TCM. It has been used around the world, including in the Middle East and South America.
Cupping entails creating suction/vacuum inside glass cups and placing them on fleshy parts of the body.
The created vacuum draws fluids into the tissues treated. This suction force expands and breaks open the capillaries under the skin, leaving the area bruised. The body responds to the cupping bruises like to any other injury – by increasing local anti-inflammatory response and increasing blood circulation.
Cupping is used to treat muscle spasms, soreness and tightness in the soft tissues of the body, and lymphatic drainage.