Cupping is based on the principle of creating a vacuum in a cup which is placed on the body. Before the cups used to be made from wood (bamboo), clay but also stone in form of a cylinder with one end being open. A candle was lit, and after the oxygen burned out, the cup was placed on the body. Nowadays we use cups made from either glass or plastic. Through cups, we can treat back pain and joint pain. They also proved to be effective in treatment of migraines, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, digestive problem, gout, gallbladder problems or painful menstruation…


Cups are used:

  • During distorted condition, luxation and fractures
  • For relieving the muscle spasms
  • For reflexive effects
  • For removal of edemas and detoxication of lymphatic systems
  • For removal of joint problems (gout - uric acid, arthrosis)
  • For improvement of skin flexibility and affecting skin problems - acne, cellulite.


  • Inflammatory conditions
  • Disorders of coagulation and thin capillaries
  • Calluses and other skin problems such as eczema (dermatitis), allergies, warts, mycosis and birthmarks
  • It is prohibited to do cupping in the first three months of pregnancy in the lumbar area
  • Joints after arthritis


Massage with cup, is ideal after classic massage as an addition. It also blood supplies the deep tissues where fingers can’t reach.

Dry application of the cups:

  • Hijama - it was used mainly during antiquity and middle ages. The leech was placed on the skin (or cutting the skin with scalpel) and when it fell off, the cup was placed on the same place, which is called venipuncture. Cupping has a very positive effect on people with high blood pressure or infection in the body.
  • Dry cupping - it's about adding cups and using the effect of vacuum on trigger points (pain-inducing or acupressure points that affect the entire body part).

Author: FYZIOklinika physiotherapy Ltd., Prague, Czech Republic
Source: Clinical experience from private practice in physiotherapeutic field, FYZIOklinika

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