The history of medicine and therapy abounds with numerous effective treatments that have fallen into forgetfulness over time. One of them is cupping. Cupping therapy is an old-fashioned form of alternative medicine in which a therapist sets specific cups on your skin for a few minutes to create suction. It causes local pain relief and muscle relaxation. People get it for many purposes, including to help with pain, inflammation, blood flow, relaxation, and as a type of deep-tissue massage. For athletes, cupping may help increase blood flow to a particular muscle region or help reduce pain.