Cupping, similarly to gua sha, is a method rooted in a long history of Chinese medicine. Essentially, the practice of cupping involves suction of cup on skin, enabling the skin to lift from the subcutaneous layers and increasing local flow of blood and fluids. Prolonged cupping can lead to purple ‘bruise’ marks, similar to the petechiae that surfaces in gua sha.
At Eastern Shore Acupuncture, silicone, plastic or glass cups are used for sliding cupping, which creates a deep and satisfying massage after an acupuncture session. Sliding cups are also integral to some treatments for pain, such as that of plantar fasciitis, foot arch pain and neck and face pain. We use glass cups for stationary cupping as part of a treatment for cold conditions such as onset of common cold, respiratory illness that derive from cold, and pain that worsens with cold.