The old Chinese medical maxim holds that pain results from the congestion, stagnation, and blockage of  Chi, or Qi, or vital energy, vital fluids, lymph, phlegm, and blood. Chi, or qi energy, is the life force that flows through all living things. In Chinese, this word translates to "breath," "air," or “energy”

Essentially, the philosophy is, “Where there’s stagnation, there will be pain. Remove the stagnation, and you remove the pain.” 

If pain is of essence, then suffering is a result of obstructed or irregular flow in the body. Chinese cupping is therefore a method of breaking up the blockage to restore the body’s natural flow of energy.

Cupping is a technique, where round glass cups are warmed on the inside for a short period. This is done to remove oxygen and create vacuum in the cup. When immediately placed upside-down over the selected area, the skin is pulled up inside the cup. The cup holds itself in this position, this results in pressure that encourages the flow of Chi. The suction improves blood flow and helps to relieve pain and inflammation.