Your acupuncturist will light a cotton ball that has been soaked in rubbing alcohol on fire. Using a hemostat to hold the lit cotton ball, they will hold it in the cup for a moment, remove the cotton ball, then quickly place the cup onto your skin. The burning cotton ball burns the oxygen out of the cup which will create a vacuum when placed on the skin.
Like Gua Sha, Cupping is used to pull toxins through the skin out of the body. And like Plum Blossom, Cupping helps to release pathogens that are trapped within the body. This is a great technique for muscle tension and soreness, as well as colds, flu and skin rashes.
Because of the suction that is created, there is the possibility of bruising. These bruises are not painful. As with Gua Sha, please talk to your acupuncturist about whether the time is right to have Cupping done (be prepared for questions if you're going swimming or wearing a backless dress!)