Merck Manual

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Cupping

By

Denise Millstine

, MD, Mayo Clinic

Reviewed/Revised Dec 2023
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The air inside a cup is heated, often using a rubber pump in modern practice. The heated cup is immediately inverted and placed on the skin. The resulting vacuum sucks the skin partway into the cup, which may be left in place for several minutes.

Cupping will redden and may burn the skin.

References

  • 1. Wood S, Fryer G, Tan LLF, Cleary C: Dry cupping for musculoskeletal pain and range of motion: A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Bodyw Mov Ther 24(4):503-518, 2020. doi:10.1016/j.jbmt.2020.06.024

  • 2. Zhou Q, Wei S, Zhu H, et al: Acupuncture and moxibustion combined with cupping for the treatment of post-herpetic neuralgia: A meta-analysis. Medicine (Baltimore) 100(31):e26785, 2021. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000026785

  • 3. Cramer H, Klose P, Teut M, et al: Cupping for patients with chronic pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Pain 21(9-10):943-956, 2020. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2020.01.002

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NOTE: This is the Professional Version. CONSUMERS: View Consumer Version
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