is highly beneficial in releasing musculoskeletal tension and pain (which correlates to “stagnation” in the meridian pathways in Oriental Medicine) and removing “pathogens” to alleviate symptoms of the common cold, flu, and other respiratory disorders, among other benefits. A vacuum is created by heating the air within a specialized glass cup that is then placed flush against the patient's skin. As the air cools in the cup, a vacuum forms that pulls the skin and underlying fascia into the opening of the cup, stimulating a strong acupressure effect. This "pulling" of the skin also opens the space in which the meridian qi flows, thereby allowing better circulation of qi, blood and fluids into the injured or affected areas. There are numerous cupping techniques, and while it is a virtually painless procedure, the results may appear a bit unsightly as "bruising" or petechiae occurs -- no, bleeding does not occur.
At first, cupping therapy may feel odd -- often described as being hugged by an octopus by my patients -- but patients quickly find it feels therapeutically good and can be quite relaxing. Cupping therapy may be done in conjunction with an acupuncture session or as a stand alone treatment.