Cupping refers to an ancient Chinese practice in which a cup is applied to the skin and the pressure in the cup is reduced (by using change in heat or by suctioning out air), so that the skin and superficial muscle layer is drawn into and held in the cup, explains Subhuti Dharmananda, Ph.D., Director, Institute for Traditional Medicine, Portland, Oregon. Cupping is applied by acupuncturists to certain acupuncture points, as well as to regions of the body that are affected by pain (where the pain is deeper than the tissues to be pulled).
For more on the history of cupping and how it’s used today, see Director Dharmananda’s entire article.
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