Cupping is a lesser-known treatment that is also part of Oriental medicine, though it has gained popularity in recent times thanks to the 2016 Olympics. One of the earliest documentations of cupping can be found in a work titled A Handbook of Prescriptions for Emergencies, written by a Taoist herbalist named Ge Hong dating back to 300 AD.
Cupping can be combined with acupuncture in one treatment, or it can also be used alone. In modern times, plastic cups are used with a special pump which creates a vacuum effect. The suction and negative pressure provided by cupping can ease tight muscles, invigorate blood flow, and sedate the nervous system (making it an excellent treatment for high blood pressure). Cupping is used to relieve back and neck pains, stiffness, sore muscles, anxiety, fatigue, migraines, rheumatism, and even cellulite.
This treatment can clear congestion from a common cold or help to control a person's asthma. In fact, respiratory conditions are one of the most common ailments that cupping is used to relieve. Cupping was used three thousand years ago for the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis, according the the earliest documentations about this modality.