Cupping therapy may be trendy right now, but this therapy dates back to 1550 B.C. Cupping is an ancient form of alternative medicine in which a therapist puts special cups on your skin for a few minutes to create suction. It is often used for pain, inflammation, blood flow, relaxation and well-being, ands as a type of deep-tissue massage.
There are different methods of cupping, including: dry and modern.
During dry cupping, the therapist puts a flammable substance such as alcohol, herbs, or paper in a cup and set it on fire. As the fire goes out, they put the cup upside down on your skin. This creates a vacuum effect that causes the skin to rise and redden as your blood vessels expand. The cup is generally left in place for up to 3 minutes.
Modern cupping uses a rubber pump instead of fire to create the vacuum inside the cup. Sometimes therapists use silicone cups, which they can move from place to place on your skin for a massage-like effect.
Cupping is fairly safe, as long as you go to a trained professional. The common side effects to cupping include: mild discomfort, burns, bruises.