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Bruises left by cupping therapy — A cup, usually 3-5 cm in diameter, is applied to the skin and the pressure in the cup is reduced, creating a vacuum thereby drawing the skin and muscle into the cup. The vacuum is created either by heating or by suctioning out air. The cup or cups usually remain in place for 15 minutes. Cupping is usually applied to the back of the body or where pain is felt. Cupping is said to suck out pathogenic energies, such as cold or damp.