Cupping is an ancient Chinese technique in which a partial vacuum is created either by means of heat or suction (we use the suction method) in glass or plastic cups. The cups are placed on the skin, the air is suctioned out creating a vacuum which draws the skin and superficial muscle layers up into the cup.  When the cup is left on the skin for a few minutes the resulting pressure encourages the flow of circulation (blood) into the area which helps reduce the localized tension and pain.  Please note that even when done correctly cupping can cause temporary bruising. 

Cupping is a very useful therapy for alleviating muscular tension and back pain.  It gets great results when combined with massage therapy.