Cupping therapy is a form of alternative medicine in which a local suction is created on the skin. Cupping has been characterized as a pseudoscience. There is no good evidence it has any health benefits, and there are some risks of harm, especially from fire and wet cupping.
Cupping is poorly supported by scientific evidence, with a 2014 review of recent evidence finding that "because of the unreasonable design and poor research quality, the clinical evidence of cupping therapy is very low. A 2011 review found that "the effectiveness of cupping is currently not well-documented for most conditions", and that systematic reviews showing efficacy for the treatment of pain "were based mostly on poor quality primary studies. The American Cancer Society notes that "available scientific evidence does not support claims that cupping has any health benefits" and also that the treatment carries a small risk of burns.
While ineffective, cupping is generally safe when applied by trained professionals on people who are otherwise healthy. While ineffective, cupping is generally safe when applied by trained professionals on people who are otherwise healthy.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.