Fire cupping was originally performed with bamboo cups woven to different sizes. However, glass cups ensure a more sterile treatment. A flame is lit inside the cup and when the heat is trapped, it creates a suction when placed on the body.
Cupping is indicated in any condition that can benefit from detoxification, since the lymphatic system is stimulated. The experience is incredibly relaxing and helps improve circulation.
This treatment is often used for myofascial pain conditions, especially back pain, as it releases the fascia and relieves muscle tension and stiffness. Many think of it as the opposite of a massage because whereas massage uses pressure, cupping releases the connective tissue in the opposite direction.
Though the cups may leave temporary markings on the body, that disappear after a few days to a week, many people still request fire cupping as it is comparable to a massage. Nowadays there is also plastic and silicone cupping, which does not require a flame to be lit.