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Arizona Research Institute of Acupuncture and

Chinese Herbal Medicine

'cupping takes the pain away

Cupping is another alternative to massage.  It feels like someone is tugging on your skin but after minutes, the tension releases and the tugging feeling goes away.  Read more here. 


Cupping is not well known in TCM as acupuncture and herbal medicine in the US, but it is widely known and used in China in all TCM hospital and clinics. The term Cupping is a technique using glass cups ranging in size as suction pieces placed on the skin. Using forceps and an alcohol-soaked cotton ball that is lit and the flame is placed quickly inside the cup removing the oxygen and placed on the body creating the suction. Once placed on the body, it will either stay on one spot or glided across the skin.

Cupping is almost like a deep tissue massage but it uses negative pressure to drain excess fluids and toxins in the body; stimulating the peripheral nervous system to bring blood flow back into stagnant muscles. Like acupuncture, cupping following the directions and lines of the meridian system by using these points, the cups help align and relax muscles and open the meridians to allow the flow of Qi. It affects tissue as deep as 4 inches from the top of the skin allowing veins and arteries to be stimulated to bring oxygenated blood into the affected area or stimulates the organs in the body. Cupping is also used to treat the lungs which can clear up congestion from common cold and helps control .