Cupping Therapy

As an alternative form of medicine, cupping therapy is thought to have existed for several thousand years. The very earliest written record of cupping therapy is included in the Ebers Papyrus, a medical textbook that dates to 1550 BC. Ancient civilizations in China, Egypt, and Greece used cupping to treat disease as well as structural of physical ailments. Today, cupping is used in the treatment of a wide range of medical conditions including blood disorders such as anaemia and haemophilia, rheumatic conditions such as arthritis, fertility or gynaecological disorders, and even skin problems such as eczema and acne. Indeed, many cupping professionals tout the procedures ability to help people maintain their physical and psychological health.

The Procedure
Cupping therapy utilizes glass or plastic cups with the goal of creating localized pressure produced by a vacuum. Traditionally, cupping used heat to create the vacuum, but modern cupping sets use suction to achieve the vacuum. As the vacuum pressure in the cups increases, blood is drawn to the surface and forms in localized areas to promote healing.

Types of Cupping
Generally speaking, there are 2 basic types of cupping: dry cupping and wet cupping. The most common method is dry cupping, but most specialists are familiar with both types of cupping. Moreover, wet cupping is considered more effective as a curative treatment approach; whereas wet cupping is utilized for therapeutic and relaxation effects.

  • Dry Cupping
    The goal of dry cupping is to create an area of low pressure next to the skin. Cups can vary in size, and they are generally made from plastic or glass. Pressure inside the cup can be created by heating the cup before it is placed against the skin; as the air in the cup cools, it contracts and draws the skin inside the cup. Alternatively, the suction is created through the use of a manual suction cup. Dry cupping is generally used over soft tissue, and because blood is drawn to the surface of the skin, bruising or skin marking is common.
  • Wet Cupping
    Wet cupping is very similar to dry cupping, except that it involves the use of small incisions prior to cupping. As an alternative form of bloodletting, wet cupping is a common treatment among Asian cultures.

Healing Properties
Ancient cupping therapists believed this form of medical treatment helps to align and maintain energy pathways of the body. The Chinese believe that “Qi” (pronounced chi) flows through every part of the body including tissues and organs, and they performed cupping therapy in order to open pathways for “Qi” to flow. But cupping is also an excellent treatment with respect to the release of toxins from your body. The vacuum created in the cups allows for deep penetration of suction into underlying tissues so that harmful toxins can be released. The lymphatic system is stimulated so that blood vessels can be cleared. Most importantly, cupping is a well-practiced and long-studied medical technique that is as safe as it is effective.