Traditional Chinese methods create a vacuum by placing a burning substance inside the cup. For example, a cotton ball may be soaked in alcohol and ignited.
As soon as the flame uses up the oxygen, the cup is quickly placed on your skin.
Traditional dry cupping uses multiple cups, which are strategically positioned and left in place for about five to 10 minutes.
A method called wet cupping is done the same way except a small puncture is made before the cups are placed on your skin so the vacuum can draw out blood.
There are two types of cupping methods, including wet and dry. And two cupping techniques, stagnant and dynamic.
“Dry cupping uses a pumping method to draw the skin tissue inside the cup,” Ebinger said.
“The subcutaneous tissue (the bottom layer of your skin) is pulled into the cups and held in place for a small amount of time—anywhere from 5 minutes to 15 minutes.”
With dry cupping, the cups can slide across the skin or remain in place, known as dynamic and stagnant cupping respectively.
Wet cupping, on the other hand, goes a step further.
After creating a mild suction, a practitioner removes the cup and uses a small scalpel to make a tiny cut on that area of the skin.
Then they use a second suction to draw out a small amount of the blood.
The vacuum produced by cupping therapy stimulates peripheral nerves, lifts connective tissues, and increases the circulation of blood and lymph fluids.
As a result, toxins and cellular wastes trapped below the surface are rapidly pulled up to the skin and removed.
Better blood flow also delivers extra oxygen and nutrients needed for healing.
Cupping therapy helps to relieve pain and improve movement by loosening connective tissues and relaxing muscle knots, creating an effect that’s similar to deep massage.
Cupping marks may reveal information about your health.
For example, Dr. Chernyak can tell the severity of the underlying toxin problem by the coloration of the cupping marks.
A moderate problem creates pink or red marks that go away in a few days, while a severe buildup of toxins results in deep scarlet, purple, or black discoloration that takes seven to 10 days to disappear.