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. People get it for many purposes, including to help with pain, inflammation, blood flow, relaxation and well-being, and as a type of deep-tissue massage.
Cupping therapy might be trendy now, but it’s not new. It dates back to ancient Egyptian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern cultures. One of the oldest medical textbooks in the world, the Ebers Papyrus, describes how the ancient Egyptians used cupping therapy in 1550 B.C.
Cupping is mostly used to treat musculoskeletal problems – tight sore muscles in any area of the body – particularly the neck, shoulders and back. It can also help with sport injury recovery and performance as seen at the Olympic Games Rio 2016.
The British Cupping Society reports that cupping therapy is used to treat: blood disorders such as anaemia and haemophilia, rheumatic diseases such as arthritis and fibromyalgia, musculoskeletal injuries including sports injuries, fertility and gynaecological disorders, skin problems such as eczema and acne, high blood pressure, migraines, anxiety, depression, bronchial congestion caused by allergies, asthma and varicose veins.
A cupping consultation and treatment takes up to 50 mins, a course of treatment is recommended.