Cupping is the practice of placing cups on the skin and creating suction to increase blood flow to promote healing, and in some cases, draw out pathogens like viruses, bacteria and other germs.
A flame is usually placed in the cup to remove the air and create a vacuum on the surface of the body. There are other cups designed with air lock valves that enable the cupping practitioner to remove the air with a hand held pump.
Cupping is a Traditional Chinese Medicine practice and some studies show that it’s effective in the short term treatment of neck and back pain.
The practice of cupping leaves it’s distinctive mark on the skin, although this isn’t painful like it may appear.