Vacuum cupping used by suction gun is much more popular today. The top of the cup is arranged onto the vacuum pump, placed on the skin and suctioned. Meaning the trigger of the pump is pulled about two to three times, could be more depending on which part of the body it is placed or how strong a suction the practitioner desires. The air inside the cup cools and contracts forming a partial vacuum, enabling the cup to suck the skin, pulling in soft tissue, and drawing blood to that area. You will see the inside of the cup become misty sometimes. This may be a simple reddish-purple ring that disappears quickly, but more aggressive treatments can result in deeper bruising. In general, the longer a cup is left on, the more of a dark circular mark (ecchymosis) is created.
The classical method for cupping or Fire Cupping as it is called is done by creating suction in the cup is to use fire to consume the air within it. This was an ancient Chinese healing practice, also used by the Arabs. The ancient way was to create a vacuum in a cup made of horn, bamboo, glass, or metal, by burning a combustible (like moxa, or alcohol) inside it, then quickly applying the cup to the skin, allowing the force of the vacuum to draw up the underlying tissue. When that is done, the body surface extends into the cup, and there is usually a reddening or bruising (ecchymosis) of the area under pressure. Sometimes massage oils or aromatherapy essences were also used. Applied to significant acupuncture points, cupping was respected as a way to stimulate the flow of Qi, similarly to massage, and acupressure. But more recently, squeezable cups with a rubber top, or plastic cups drained by suction pumps are also used.
Wet cupping or blood letting, called Hijaamah by the Arabs, is the application of suction cups to the skin to draw out stagnant, congested blood, as well as other stagnant or morbid humors and restore the Vital Force or Qi in the body. Usually, the cups are made of glass, but they can also be made of bamboo, bone, horn or metal. Wet cupping, or Scarification and Cupping, is a form of bloodletting that involves first applying suction cups either by fire cupping or suction-gun cupping, then removing the cup and making tiny incisions on the skin, then applying the suction cups to suck out small amounts of stagnant blood.
Many of the Muslim faith feel it necessary or desirable to undergo the cupping therapy as it was a practice of Muhammad, the Prophet (Upon whom be the Peace and Blessing of God). Doing as the Prophet (Muhammad upon whom be the Peace and Blessing of God) did and acting as he acted is called a “sunnah” in Arabic and is highly rewarded. Regarding hijaamah he (Muhammad upon whom be the Peace and Blessing of God) said, “Whoever revives a Sunnah from my Sunnah and the people practise it, he/she will have the same reward of those that practise it without their reward diminishing…” [Sunan ibn Maajah (209)].
During the battle of Khaibar in 7 AH with the Jews, a Jewish woman prepared some meat which she filled with deadly poison and presented to Prophet Muhammad (Upon whom be the Peace and Blessing of God). [Bukhari]. Upon tasting the meat the poison affected Prophet Muhammad (Upon whom be the Peace and Blessing of God), he used to undergo cupping in order to relieve him from the effects of the poison in his blood. [Shamaa-il Tirmidhi].