Cupping is the application of suction cups used to enhance the bodies' circulation. Cupping, which can be used alone or in conjunction with acupuncture, increases circulation, reduces swelling, and allows nutrients to flow into an area while toxins or waste flow out. Not surprisingly, cupping I most commonly used to treat pain, injury (like a sprained ankle), and stubborn stress induced knots in the musculoskeletal system. Cupping shouldn’t hurt and though treatments typically last between 10 and 20 minutes, "cup marks" which often look like purple or red bruises in the shape of the cup can last for several days. Though it may sound undesirable, there appears to be a direct correlation between the darkness of the "cup mark" and the effectiveness of the treatment.