The ancient practice of using fire cupping in TCM, for health has many benefits. Cupping increases blood circulation to the area where the cups are placed. This may relieve muscle tension, which can improve overall blood flow and promote cell repair. It may also help form new connective tissues and create new blood vessels in the tissue.
One of the earliest documentations of cupping can be found in the work titled A Handbook of Prescriptions for Emergencies, which was written by a Taoist herbalist by the name of Ge Hong and which dates all the way back to 300 AD. An even earlier Chinese documentation, three thousand years old, recommended cupping for the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis.
How does it work: the technique uses small glass cups or bamboo jars as suction devices that are placed on the ski to disperse and break up stagnation and congestion by drawing congested blood, energy or other humors to the surface. In dry cupping, the therapist will simply place the suction cups on the skin. In wet cupping, the practitioner will make a small incision on the skin and then apply the suction cup to draw out small amounts of blood.
In Glide Cupping, Once the suction has occurred, the cups can be gently moved across the skin. Healing oils are applied to improve movement of the glass cups along the skin using gentle pressure to pull tissue upward, as opposed to traditional massage that presses tissue downward.
The concept is that where there is stagnation there is pain, where there is flow there is harmony and balance. Blockage of Qi, or vital energy, vital fluids, lymph, phlegm, and blood results in pain. For colds, stuck phlegm in the lungs can be moved with fire cupping, and the achiness of colds and flu symptoms are also relieved by moving vital fluids.
Cupping for Colds and Flu relieves congestion in the body and stimulates movement of energy to restore and heal. Cupping deep tissue massage improves blood flow and helps to detoxify the area cupped and the connected regions.