Cupping therapy was used in Egypt dating back some 3,500 years, where its use is represented in hieroglyphic writing. The earliest recorded use of Cupping is from the famous Taoist alchemist and herbalist, Ge Hong (281–341 A.D.). In ancient Greece, Hippocrates recommended the use of cups for a variety of ailments.
In China, extensive research has been carried out on Cupping, and the practice is a mainstay of government-sponsored hospitals of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The fundamental therapeutic value of Cupping has been documented through several thousand years of clinical and subjective experience and has advanced its application to many areas.
Cupping therapy is the method of using glass or plastic cups to create localized pressure by a vacuum. The Chinese have been doing this since ancient times by using heat inside glass or bamboo cups. Nowadays, cupping sets use suction to create the vacuum. The vacuum inside the cups causes the blood to form in the area and help the healing in that area.
Ancient Chinese medicine is based on the belief that the body contains "Meridians". These meridians are pathways in the body which the energy of life called Qi ("chi") flows through. It flows through every body part, tissue, and organ. Cupping therapy is mainly performed on one's back because there are five meridians on your back. When these meridians are opened, the internal energy is able to flow through the whole body.