What is “Cupping”, Anyway?

By 05/03/2014 July 6th, 2017 Acupuncture, Adjunctive therapies, Cupping

“Cupping” may sound strange, but

practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine have healed people with this
method since 300AD (4). According to Dr. Kaleem
Ullah, secretary of the British Cupping Society, “Cupping Therapy is an ancient
medical treatment that relies upon creating a local suction to mobilize blood
flow in order to promote healing” (3).
Cupping can provide relief for
migraines, muscular tension, respiratory diseases, digestive diseases, and
chronic pain, among other conditions.

In GeHong’s A Handbook of Prescriptions for
, the earliest recorded mention of cupping from the early fourth
century, a hollowed-out horn was the recommended tool of choice. A lot has
changed since this technique’s inception; modern practitioners use glass,
bamboo, and pottery cups to create the healing suction. During a typical
session, a cotton ball soaked in alcohol is burned inside the cup, removing all
oxygen and creating a vacuum that anchors the cup to the skin. Other methods
are also used to create suction, such as holding the cup over a small flame and
using a hand pump instead of fire. Flame is never used near the skin, only to create

Once the cups are placed on the proper areas of the body, the cups are slid across oiled
skin. The effect is much like a “reverse massage”; skin and superficial muscle
are gently pulled into the cup, which loosens muscles and encourages better
blood flow, among other positive effects. According to the Pacific College of
Oriental Medicine, “Cupping is one of the best deep-tissue therapies available.
It is thought to affect tissues up to four inches deep from the external skin.
Toxins can be released, blockages can be cleared, and veins and arteries can be
refreshed within these four inches of affected material” (4). The cups are
placed along the meridians of the body to target specific maladies, like in
acupuncture, which is often administered alongside the cupping procedure. If
you experience chronic conditions that keep you from living your best, there’s
only health to gain by trying this non-invasive, low-risk treatment.

For more information:  http://www.integrativeaom.com/Other_Therapies.html

1. Dharmananda,
Subhuti, Ph.D. Institute for Traditional Medicine, “Cupping.” Last
modified March 1999. Accessed February 3, 2014.
<a href=”http://www.itmonline.org/arts/cupping.htm.
www.itmonline.org/arts/cupping.htm.<span style=”font-family:Calibri;color:#4F81BD”>

2. Ullah, Kaleem, Ph.D. British Cupping Society, “A Brief
Overview of Cupping Therapy.” Last modified May 15, 2011. Accessed
February 3, 2014. <a href=”http://www.britishcuppingsociety.org/http:/www.britishcuppingsociety.org/a-brief-overview-of-cupping-therapy.

4. Pacific College
of Oriental Medicine, “The Many Benefits of Chinese Cupping.” Last
modified June 17, 2009. Accessed February 3, 2014.