The earliest use of cupping that is recorded is from the famous Taoist alchemist and herbalist, Ge Hong (281 - 341 AD) and is a method of treating disease by causing local congestion. A partial vacuum is created by fire in a jar, or cup, which is then applied to the skin. The negative pressure causes the underlying tissue to draw up into the cup causing a type of blood stasis.
This treatment warms and promotes the free flow of Qi and Blood in the channels, reducing swelling, relieving pain, and dispels what TCM practitioners refer to as "Cold" and "Dampness" (pathogenic factors). Cups are left in place for 5-15 minutes or until there is local congestion. Cupping often leaves a purplish mark that will disappear in a few days without special treatment.
Tui Na (Chinese Massage)
The history of Tui Na dates back to 2400 BC. It's still practiced today to relax, release and adjust muscles and soft tissues. By doing this, traditionally we activate and regulate the flow of Qi and Blood movement, eliminate cold to stop pain, dredge the meridians, find and remove obstructions, restore functional anatomy, as well as and if needed reduce fever, and calm the mind.
Tui Na as with other TCM practice, is inseparable from the rationale and philosophy of Chinese Medicine and does not fit neatly into the rubric of "massage". Tui Na has always been inseparably integrated with the other modalities of Chinese Medicine. In principle, "Where there is stagnation, there is pain".