Cupping is an ancient Chinese therapy in which a cup is applied to the skin and the pressure in the cup is reduced (either by heat or suction) in order to draw and hold skin and superficial muscles inside the cup. Sometimes, while the suction is active, the cup is moved, causing the skin and muscle to be pulled. This is called gliding cupping.
Cupping is applied to certain acupuncture points as well as to parts of the body that have been affected by pain, where the pain is deeper than the tissues to be pulled. Cupping has greater emphasis on the back acupuncture due to the ease with which it can be performed on the back.
Cupping is based on the meridian theory of the body.