Cupping Therapy: This therapy uses special cups to create a vacuum pressure in specific areas of the body. The procedure is usually performed on the patient’s back to promote healing, helps release toxins and to trigger the lymphatic system.
Cupping refers to an ancient Chinese practice in which a cup is applied to the skin and the pressure in the cup is reduced (by using change in heat or by suctioning out air), so that the skin and superficial muscle layer is drawn into and held in the cup.
Generally, the cup is left in place for about 10 minutes (typical range is 5–15 minutes). The skin becomes reddened due to the congestion of blood flow. The cup is removed by pressing the skin along side it to allow some outside air to leak into it, thus equalizing the pressure and releasing it.
Types of Cupping Therapy
There are various types of cupping therapy, including:
- Dry cupping (suction only)
- Wet cupping (combination of suction and controlled medical bleeding)
During both types of cupping, a flammable substance is placed in a cup and set on fire. As the fire goes out, the cup is placed upside down on the patient’s skin.
As the air inside the cup cools, it creates a vacuum. This causes the skin to rise and redden as blood vessels expand. The cup is generally left in place for 5 to 10 minutes.
Cupping therapy supporters believe that wet cupping removes harmful substances and toxins from the body to promote healing.
Benefits of Cupping Therapy
Cupping therapy is used to treat:
- Rheumatic diseases such as arthritis
- Fertility and gynecological disorders
- Skin problems such as eczema and acne
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Anxiety and depression
- Bronchial congestion caused by allergies and asthma
- Varicose veins
- Enhance mental and physical relaxation and well-being
Side Effects of Cupping Therapy
Cupping is considered to be relatively safe, especially when performed by trained health professionals. Potential side effects include:
- Mild discomfort, slightly sore pain
- Bruises, cupping mark on the skin for about 7 days