This alternative healing therapy has been studied quite a bit in recent years. A 2014 report found that there was a positive short-term effect of cupping therapy on reducing pain intensity compared with no treatment, heat therapy, or conventional drugs, while a 2016 study also found that cupping was effective at relieving chronic neck and shoulder pain, though they attributed this largely to the increase in skin temperature caused by the cupping.
Cupping therapy is most often done in a practice by a professional acupuncturist or other alternative health therapist. But if you get a feel for it, those sessions can become pretty pricey.
Unlike acupuncture though, cupping therapy is something you can also do it home.
Cupping therapy is a type of deep tissue massage (although it lifts rather than compresses). It can help to increase blood flow and aid lymphatic drainage in the area. This in turn promotes muscle recovery and offers a great feeling of relaxation too.
How to use a cupping set at home
1. Identify the treatment area.
Determine where on the body to place the cups. When using cupping to treat pain or cellulite, you will need to apply treatment directly to the affected area. Fleshy areas of the body, like the back, stomach, arms, and legs, are ideal treatment areas. Do not apply cups over an area where you can feel a pulse. You should also avoid applying cups over an artery, deep vein thrombosis, or ulcer.
2. Cleanse the skin.
Wash the treatment site with soap and water. Dry well using a clean dry towel.
3. Apply cream or oil .
Smear a small amount of skin cream or oil over the intended treatment site. Rub the product into the skin as thoroughly as possible. Avoid products that warm the skin or increase blood flow since cupping already draws blood to the surface of the treated area.
4. Cup placement.
Place the cup on treatment area and press it against the skin, to create a vacuum effect.
5. Cup movement.
6. Cup removal.
Remove the cups by simply lifting them off with your hands.
1. Wash and clean your face.
2. Apply facial oil or moisturizer.
3. Squeeze the small face cup and place on the moisturized skin, then release. Use the small cup under eyes and eyebrows, on the nose and T-zone and around your mouth. Rapid suction and release can be applied.
4. Wash any oil off with cold water, then splash your face with warm water to re-open pores.
For good results repeat 3-5 times a week for 5-10 minutes.