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Fire cupping glass cups layed out on the back for muscle relaxation

Fire Cupping

Fire cupping is a therapy where an acupuncturist uses fire to create a vacuum within a glass cup which then allows the cup to suction to the skin. This process brings fresh blood to the muscles in specific areas and in turn helps with pain, inflammation, relaxation, and overall well-being.


There are several different methods of fire cupping: stationary, sliding, and flash. Stationary cupping is a form of cupping in which the cups are placed onto the skin in different areas and left alone, allowing for the cups to target very localized and specific areas and draw toxins out of the body. With sliding cupping, the cups are placed onto the skin similar to stationary cupping, but then are moved across the body in order to break up stagnation and promote the movement of blood through the muscles. Flash cupping is when the cups are rapidly placed on and off the skin, oftentimes creating a 'popping' noises, and can help to break up phlegm or congestion in the chest.

Although fire is being used, fire cupping is not hot nor does it cause any pain, but instead can feel similar to a deep tissue massage.   

Fire cupping with cups placed on upper back
Japanese brush painting of hillside
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