Cupping is an additional technique used to support acupuncture, and is particularly used to help with lung problems, for example, colds and asthma, acute or chronic back pain, and shoulder or neck stiffness. It can also be used to help clear symptoms of physical trauma.
Different numbers and sizes of cups are placed in certain areas of the body, and left for short periods of time. This is known as fixed cupping. Alternatively, a technique known as sliding cupping can be applied with oil, and the cups moved around, which is useful for resolving pain across a wider area.
Other techniques such as ‘walking’ or ‘flash cupping’ can be used to help with colds or sprains, and cups can even be placed over needles to help with swollen joints.
It is important for the patient to be aware that there may be bruising or discolouration for up to 7 days after the treatment, and it is important to keep the treatment area covered and drink plenty of fluids after treatment.