Cupping therapy is a form of alternative medicine in which a local suction is created on the skin with the application of heated cups. Its practice mainly occurs in Asia but also in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America
Cupping therapy is used for a wide array of medical conditions including chronic low back pain, poor appetite, indigestion, high blood pressure, acne, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, stroke rehabilitation, nasal congestion, infertility, menstrual period cramping and other diseases or etc.
Wet cupping is also known as Hijama (Arabic: حجامة lit. "sucking") or medicinal bleeding, where blood is drawn by local suction from a small skin incision.
The first reported usages are found in the Islamic hadith, sayings attributed to or describing the actions of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Hadith from Muhammad al-Bukhari, Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj Nishapuri and Ahmad ibn Hanbal support its recommendation and use by Muhammad. As a result, wet cupping has remained a popular remedy practiced in many parts of the Muslim world.
While details vary between practitioners, societies, and cultures, the practice consists of drawing tissue into a cap placed on the targeted area by creating a partial vacuum – either by the heating and subsequent cooling of the air in the cup, or via a mechanical pump. The cup is usually left in place for somewhere between five and fifteen minutes.
Cupping therapy types can be classified using four distinct methods of categorization. The first system of categorization relates to "technical types" including: dry, wet, massage, and flash cupping therapy. The second categorization relates to "the power of suction related types" including: light, medium, and strong cupping therapy. The third categorization relates to "the method of suction related types" including: fire, manual suction, and electrical suction cupping therapy. The fourth categorization relates to "materials inside cups" including: herbal products, water, ozone, moxa, needle, and magnetic cupping therapy.
Further categories of cupping were developed later. The fifth relates to area treated including: facial, abdominal, female, male, and orthopedic cupping therapy. The sixth relates to "other cupping types" that include sports and aquatic cupping.