Cupping is much like the inverse of massage - rather than applying pressure to muscles, The suction in the cups causes the skin and superficial muscle layer to be lightly drawn into the cup. . For most patients, this is a particularly relaxing and relieving sensation. Cupping not only releases lactic acid and stagnations that are stuck deep in the muscle layer, but it also releases emotions that we tend to store in our muscular tensions relieving pain on both a physical and emotional level. The suction can leave red marks on the skin that last a few days.