The purpose of cupping is to stimulate the qi, or life force, to flow through the body's energy channels.
"Cupping is an ancient Chinese method that involves suctioning skin and tissue up into what is usually a glass cup that slightly resembles a light bulb. There are two methods to do this. One involves putting heat into the cup, such as a burning cotton ball soaked in alcohol, removing it, then quickly pressing the cup onto the skin. In the other method, the cup is placed on the body and the air is sucked out with a pump."
Shelly Greene is an acupuncturist who also uses cupping therapy. She usually does this procedure on the back, using two cups and a pump to suck the air out of the cups.
While the treatment does not cause any pain, it will leave a bruise as the skin and tissue beneath the skin get sucked into the glass cup.
Reporter Jen Mulson had her first cupping experience with Greene and shares it with us here.