Cupping is one of the methods used in
Traditional Chinese medicine, although other
cultures have also used it. The earliest
recorded use of cupping dates to the end third
century. "Leihoufang" Ge Hong (281-341)
is the first written document found on the use
of suction cups.
Cupping can alleviate several disorders such as:
- Abdominal-pain, swelling or cold sensation.
- Pain throughout the body: pain and cold sensation in the back and
kidneys with tremors and lack of strength in the limbs.
- Cold, cramping, limitation of motion, contractures.
- Pain and swelling in joints: elbows, knees, ankles, etc ...
- Numbness, spasms, difficulty bending and limited movement.
- Sciatica or lumbago.
- Menstrual-pain, respiratory conditions such as bronchitis, asthma,
congestion or arthritis, gastrointestinal disorders, etc...
How does it work?
In a cupping session, we create a vacuum in the
cup with fire or by suctioning the air inside the
cup with a suction pump. Then the cup is applied
over particular points or meridians on the skin.
The vacuum anchors the cup to the skin
which helps to stimulate the flow of blood,
releases obstructions and drowns toxins from
the body. It balances the flow of Qi.
There are different kinds of cups; animal horns,
bamboo, iron, pottery, although glass and plastic
is what most acupuncturists use nowadays.
Several cups may be placed at the same time and will be left in place for 5 to 20 minutes. Depending on the patient's skin and the suction force.
Small amounts of oil or essences may be applied before the cupping treatment in order to move the cups up and down if necessary.
Is it safe? Does it hurt?
Cupping is considered very safe. It can cause some swelling and often causes some slight bruising to the skin. As the skin under the cup is drawn up, the blood vessels at the surface expand and it may result in circular bruises. Normally these bruises are painless and disappear within a few days.
When should cupping not be performed?
Cupping should not be performed on patients with inflamed skin, dermatologic-diseases, infections, high fever or convulsions, open wounds, sores, scars, ulcers and fractures.
Heart-diseases. Pregnant women should not have cupping on their abdomen, lower back or other specific points of acupuncture which your practitioner will advise.