This is usually used as part of acupuncture or body massage treatment and has been a part of Chinese medicine for over 3,000 years. This consists of using plastic cups and creating suction and vacuum pressure over localized areas of the body. The suction helps to release rigid soft tissue; drain excess fluids and toxins; loosen adhesions and lift connective tissue; and bring blood flow to stagnant skin and muscles and also helps open up the chest, benefits the lungs and can also benefit menstrual and digestive problems. These cups are left on the area for 10-20 minutes to do their magic. The benefits are local pain relief and muscle relaxation. It improves overall health by removing the energy blockages that TCM practitioners identify as barriers to the flow of healthy energy or qi. For athletes, cupping may help increase blood flow to a particular muscle region or help reduce pain.