Chinese Medicine has existed for around five millennia. One of its treatments, known as Cupping Therapy has also been practiced by the Egyptians and Arabs independent of Chinese influence thousands of years ago.
The cups used in cupping therapy then were made of bronze, clay pottery, animal horn, or bamboo. These days, rubber, plastic, or glass cups are used in the modern day version of this modality. To create a vacuum, oil, hot water, or fire is used to heat the cup. Inside the cup, air is heated to expand the cup. The heated cup is then applied to a patient’s skin that has been previously lubricated. When the air cools, a vacuum would be created by the diminishing air within the cup.
Nowadays, an alcohol-soaked cotton ball is often used to heat the cup. Sometimes a lighted candle would also be used to ignite the cotton ball. One way to safely create a vacuum is to use a vacuum pump that is attached to an air valve on the side or top of the cup. A hand pump can be utilized in order to better gain control of the vacuum, and there’s no risk of burning due to heat.
The body has major sections in which the cups are applied. This may include the abdomen and the back. The arms and legs may also be used as sites of treatment and will have cups applied on them as well. Rubber cups will be applied to the bony areas of the body, but the body’s fleshy parts are the ones often used by practitioners.
The dry type of cupping is the most commonly used cupping technique. When some loss of blood is required, the wet type of cupping is used. In this type of cupping, the patient’s skin is punctured and a few drops of blood will flow out into the cup. Wet cupping is used to draw out bad blood and toxins from the body.
The major issues in which cupping is used for include congestion, asthma, and bronchitis. Pain, gastrointestinal conditions, and gynecological problems have also been successfully cured through cupping.
After treatment, the patient may have marks left on the body areas that have been treated. Those marks can be as small as red rings to circular bruises that are the size of a mouth of a cup. These marks may be large and have a deeper color. The marks usually vanish within a few days.
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