| Cupping has been practised for thousands of years for the treatment of disease and pain.It is a form of acupuncture that focuses on the movement of blood, energy - called Qi - and body fluids, such as lymph - which circulates around the body's tissues. Oriental medicine states pain is due to stagnation of these systems. This stagnation can be a result of injury or stress. Cupping is believed to stimulate flow of blood, lymph and Qi to the affected area. Its uses include relieving pain in the muscles, especially back pain from stiffness or injury, and clearing congestion in the chest, which can occur with colds and flu.
The therapist takes a number of glass cups, which look like small fish bowls. Each cup is heated with a naked flame. The cup is then quickly applied to the skin. This creates a vacuum. The suction anchors the cup to the body and the area of skin covered is drawn up a few millimetres into the cup. The cups are then left on the body whilst the area beneath is treated and the energy, or Qi, is moved. Cupping is usually used on its own, but can be combined with other therapies.