Cupping is a therapeutic treatment dating back 5,000 years or more. Cupping is considered beneficial for aches and pains and is thought to improve overall circulation and help rid the body of toxins and increase blood flow to contracted muscles. It is also used in cases of bronchitis or pneumonia to help open up the lung. It recently achieved some notoriety when cupping bruises were seen on the backs of certain celebrities and Olympic athletes.
Gua Sha is a less known but very effective ancient Asian therapeutic treatment that involves scraping the skin with a hand-held smooth instrument. Within minutes, most people have immediate pain relief in the area being scraped. Gua Sha has been shown in research to increase microcirculation by 400%, which greatly reduces muscle pain. Some research has also shown it to have a powerful anti-inflammatory and immune effect.