Cupping therapy 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.
Today's version of 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.
Wet cupping creates a mild suction by leaving a cup in place for about 3 minutes. The therapist then removes the cup and uses a small scalpel to make light, tiny cuts on your skin. Next, they do a second suction to draw out a small quantity of blood.
Cupping therapy is used to treat:
Blood disorders such as anemia and hemophilia
Rheumatic diseases such as arthritis and fibromyalgia
Fertility and gynecological disorders
Skin problems such as eczema and acne
High blood pressure
Anxiety and depression
Bronchial congestion caused by allergies and asthma
Cupping is fairly safe, as long as you go to a trained health professional.