Cupping is a therapy used in Traditional Chinese medicine to disperse stagnation and stimulate the flow of qi (energy). Qi is the free flow of vital energy circulating through the body, if the qi is disrupted, there can be stagnation resulting in imbalances in the body. Cupping is especially useful for relieving muscle tension such as in the neck, shoulders and back. It is also a form of detox as it stimulates the lymphatic system.
Below is a diagram from Marconi Acupuncture Clinic showing the various cupping marks and colours to help you understand what it all means.
Gua Sha, like cupping therapy, helps to break up stagnation in the tissue and muscles so that more oxygen and vital nutrients can flow freely in the body resulting in a better range of motion and a reduction in pain.
Below is a diagram from Marconi Acupuncture Clinic showing the various gua sha marks and colours to help you understand what it all means.