Cupping is an ancillary technique that acupuncturist often use in conjunction to acupuncture treatments. A vacuum is created by placing a small flame created by an alcohol soaked cotton ball over an inverted glass cup. The suction in the cups cause the skin and superficial muscle layer to be lightly drawn into the cup. Cupping is much like the inverse of massage. Instead of pressing down on the tissue, the vacuum pulls them upward.