What is cupping?

Cupping is a type of treatment in which small cups are placed on the body to treat a variety of conditions, including neck and lower back pain. Cupping is known as a Traditional Chinese Medicine and has been practiced for more than 2,000 years.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/10/2017.


  • National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. In the News: Cupping Accessed 4/26/2017.
  • Yuan Q, Guo T, Lie L, et al. Traditional Chinese Medicine for Neck Pain and Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. PLoS One. 2015; 10(2): e0117146.
  • National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. The Science of Cupping Accessed 4/26/2017.
  • Acupuncture Today. Cupping Accessed 4/26/2017.

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