Cupping, as its name implies, is the use of glass or bamboo cups that are warmed to create a partial vacuum, so that it can be "stuck" on the skin. In some cases, the cup may be moved while the suction of skin is active. This causes a regional pull of the skin and muscles (known as gliding cupping), which is an attempt to "re-start" the circulation of Qi in the body.
Cupping works on the body's meridian system, to "open up" any stagnant points for a better flow of Qi, and to rejuvenate certain meridians and organs that are not functioning at their optimum. Scientifically, this technique is known to help activate the lymphatic system, promote blood circulation and aid deep tissue repair.