Cupping therapy is a form of alternative medicine in which special cups are placed on the skin for a few minutes to create suction. People get it for many purposes, including help with pain, inflammation, blood flow, relaxation, well-being, and as a type of deep-tissue massage.
Cupping therapy might be trendy now, but it’s not new. It dates back to ancient Egyptian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern cultures. One of the oldest medical textbooks in the world, the Ebers Papyrus, describes how the ancient Egyptians used cupping therapy in 1,550 B.C. And for a good reason – cupping therapy has a host of health benefits that can often outweigh modern medicine techniques.
1. Helps Reduce Pain
2. Promotes Relaxation
3. Boosts Skin Health
4. Helps Treat Respiratory Issues and Colds
5. Improves Digestion
Cupping therapy supporters believe that the practice helps remove harmful substances and toxins from the body, which in turn, improves immunity.
Suction pulls toxins, pathogenic factors, blood poison, dead lymph and cellular debris from deep within the tissues to the surface. These debilitating agents are then more easily expelled from the body. The deposits dissipate from a few hours up to several weeks, depending on the amount of stagnation and the patient’s post treatment activities.
Cupping therapy can be used to treat:
- Blood disorders such as anemia and hemophilia
- Rheumatic diseases such as arthritis and fibromyalgia
- Fertility and gynecological disorders
- Skin problems such as eczema and acne
- High blood pressure
- Anxiety and depression
- Bronchial congestion caused by allergies and asthma
- Varicose veins
One of the biggest advantages to trying alternative practices like cupping therapy, acupuncture, or massage therapy is that these methods don’t pose the risk for unwanted side effects like pharmacological drugs or surgery do.
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has been used to treat pain for more than 2000 years, which holds that pain is mainly caused by disorder (insufficiency or disturbance) of qi (energy) and blood circulation, causing blood stasis or qi blockage in the organs, energy channels, and other parts of the body.
Cups can be made of different materials such as bamboo, glass, or earthenware. During treatment, the air inside the cups is first rarefied to create a partial vacuum, which can be accomplished by various means such as heat or vacuum apparatus. The cups are then applied on the skin over prescribed acupuncture points. The resulting effect is local hyperemia or homeostasis as treatment for a specific disease.
After employing the cupping method, it is common to find that small bruises or redness will remain on the treated areas of the body, most commonly the back. This is due to all the blood being forced to the surface of the skin. It is believed that if there is the presence of higher amount of toxins in an individual’s body, then the redness will be deeper and more noticeable. However, the fewer toxins present in the body, the individual will experience a reduced amount of visible effects from using the cupping method.