If you’ve had an injury and suffer from aches, you should know that cupping therapy is a technique used in Oriental Medicine to eliminate residual pain from internal injuries. Cupping treatment simply uses glass cups and heat to stimulate the areas of pain and release internal stagnation, the remnants of what occurs when the body repairs itself.

Stagnation can be best compared with processes you see regularly on the surface of your body. When you cut yourself, your body forms a scab, under which blood and nutrients help to rebuild the skin. When everything returns to normal, the scab falls off. Many internal injuries set off the same type of reaction on the inside of your body.

When you get hurt, whether the trauma occurs from a car accident or falling and hurting your back, oftentimes blood vessels break, causing inflammation. So what does your body do? It sends all kinds of blood and nutrients to bind together and heal the area. But because these cuts are not external, the body cannot simply shed what is collected at the particular spot, which is why cupping therapy is used for healing.

So how does cupping therapy relate? When a cup is applied to the skin, it creates a vacuum-like sensation that gently pulls on the skin. This is begun by lighting a fire and placing it in the cup, and then taking the flame out and putting the cup on your skin. Don’t worry, the fire never touches your skin, and the heat does not burn you! The fire merely absorbs the oxygen inside the cup, allowing the sucking reaction to occur and enabling the cupping treatment.

The cups remain on the body for five to ten minutes, and when the cups are removed, purple, red or pink areas may arise in the treated area, indicating that stagnant blood is rising and being carried away. Even cases of lung congestion can be relieved with cupping therapy, a testament to the deep reach the process has. Cupping treatment feels like a massage, and because its effect reaches so far into the body, the resulting positive outcome is long-lasting.