Cupping therapy is an ancient Arabic form of alternative medicine in which a local suction is created on the skin; practitioners believe this mobilizes blood flow in order to promote healing. Suction is created using heat (fire) or mechanical devices (hand or electrical pumps).
Fire cupping is a treatment where a cotton ball dipped in 50% or greater alcohol is lit and the cotton ball is then introduced inside of the cup for a brief second. The cup is then placed on the patient. As a small vacuum has been created by the combustion of the oxygen inside the cup, the skin is drawn up into the cup creating a seal.