Cupping is usually incorporated into an acupuncture of bodywork treatment, but can be used alone. The practitioner takes a glass cup or bamboo jar, roughly the size of a jar of baby food, and ignites a small flame inside the cup, creating a vacuum. The cup is then quickly applied to the body, drawing the skin up a few millimeters into the cup. This suction stimulates the flow of blood, lymph, and Qi to the affected area. The suction can leave red marks on the skin that last a few days.
Each cupping session lasts approximately 10 to 15 minutes and it can be repeated, once the marks have cleared, until the condition is resolved.