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Cupping Therapy

A type of alternative therapy that involves placing cups on the skin to create suction. This suction is thought to improve the flow of energy in the body and facilitate healing.


It’s one of the oldest medical texts We’re talking 1550 B.C. there are mentions about cupping therapy from Ancient Egypt, though cupping is a part of many ancient healing systems, including Chinese, Unani, traditional Korean, and Tibetan. Greek physician Hippocrates, often referred to as the “father” of medicine, even compiled descriptions of cupping techniques.

These days, cupping therapy is usually found as a treatment offered by practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Supporters believe the suction helps facilitate the flow of “qi” in the body. Qi is a Chinese word meaning life force.

Many believe that cupping helps balance yin and yang, which is the negative and positive, within the body. Restoring balance between these two extremes is thought to help with the body’s resistance to pathogens as well as its ability to increase blood flow and reduce pain.

Cupping increases blood circulation to the area where the cups are placed. This may relieve muscle tension, improving overall blood flow and promoting cell repair. It also helps form new connective tissues and create new blood vessels in the tissue.

People use cupping to complement their care for a host of symptoms and conditions.

The effects of cupping therapy include:

  • promoting the skin’s blood flow

  • changing the skin’s biomechanical properties

  • increasing pain thresholds

  • improving local anaerobic (without oxygen) metabolism

  • reducing inflammation

  • boosting cellular immunity

Does cupping remove toxins?

Well it’s the removal of toxins by stimulating the immune response, both locally and systemically.

It may also eliminate uric acid, a natural waste product from the digestion of certain foods. Uric acid build-up can lead to high levels of acidity in the blood and urine.

Cupping also has a positive effect on the lymphatic system, which is partially responsible for eliminating your body’s waste.

When the flow of lymph is interrupted, it can cause fluid build-up and prevent the body from properly eliminating toxins. Lymphatic drainage massage is one solution to this issue. Similarly, cupping may help increase the flow of lymph and prevent fluid build-up.

The evidence for cupping’s ability to remove toxins is promising, but more research is needed to confirm it.

Different types of cupping?

Cupping was likely first performed using animal horns. Later, cups were made from bamboo and then ceramic.

Suction was primarily created through the use of heat. Cups were originally heated with fire and then applied to the skin. As they cooled, the cups drew the skin inside.

Modern cupping is often performed using bell-shaped glass cups. They may also be made of plastic or silicone.

There are four main categories of cupping performed today:

  • Dry cupping: a suction-only method

  • Wet/bleeding cupping: may involve both suction and controlled medicinal bleeding

  • Running cupping: involves moving suctioned cups around the body after applying oil to massage the desired area

  • Flash cupping: involves quick, repeated suction and release of cups on an area of the body

What conditions can cupping treat?

Cupping has been used to treat a wide variety of conditions. It may be particularly effective at easing conditions that create muscle aches and pains.

Since the cups can also be applied to major acupressure points, the practice is possibly effective at treating digestive issues, skin issues, and other conditions commonly treated with acupressure.

Cupping therapy may help with the following conditions, among others:

Side effects

There aren’t many side effects associated with cupping. The side effects you may experience typically occur during your treatment or immediately after, such as:

  • circular marks where the cups have been

  • discoloration

  • dizziness

You may feel lightheaded or dizzy during your treatment. Rarely, you may also experience sweating or nausea.

After treatment, the skin around the rim of the cup may become irritated and marked in a circular pattern. You may also have pain at incision sites after your session.


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