Cupping hit the mainstream media eye with Gwyneth Paltrow’s shoulders and then in the 2016 Olympics with Michael Phelps and other Olympians showing their godlike bodies with the characteristic circular cup marks on key areas of their anatomies …

In fact cupping has a long and rich history both in the East and the West as a medical therapeutic intervention of choice. From Europe to China it was used as a major treatment modality. The difference being that the Chinese have continued to use and study the effects of cupping to the present day.

Cupping refers to the therapeutic use of rounded ‘cup-like’ vessels held on the skin with suction. These were in fact usually made from bamboo sections or clay, but these days most cups are either glass (the best) or plastic. Fire cupping refers to the use of a flame to create the suction of the cup to the skin. The strength of suction can be finely controlled by increasing or decreasing the time between removing the flame and holding the cup to the skin. Alternatively a suction pump action cup system can be used.