Cupping is a way of resolving local congestion by using a partial vacuum that is generated in a cup or cups, either by suction or by heat. Cupping therapy is an ancient Chinese form of healing that’s been used for thousands of years. Nevertheless, the entire world once knew this therapy and used it despite the fact that it’s usually associated with Traditional Chinese Medicine. The ancient Greeks and Egyptians have also been known to use cupping therapy. In fact, the Ebers Papyrus of Egypt, the oldest medical document in the world, written around 1550 BCE, was the first text that mentioned cupping. This therapeutic practice has also had a long history in the UK and actually, the British medical journal, The Lancet, got its name from cupping therapy as it means the surgical instrument that can grate the skin to perform cupping.

The Various Types of Cupping

1. Water Cupping – This is the least practiced cupping technique. In water cupping, 1/3 of a cup is filled with warm water. Whilst the cup is held close to the client with one hand, it is brought to the point to be cupped and then cotton wool is burned and placed into the cup, then quickly and at the same instant, the cup is turned onto the skin. No water spillage occurs when this technique is performed rightly.

2. Strong Cupping – As implied by its name, strong cupping involves strong suction and so it is not recommended for the elderly and children.

3. Needle Cupping – Cupping and acupuncture in West Orange are conducted in the same place. Needle is inserted first; then over it, the cup is applied

4. Massage Cupping or Moving Cupping – A very effective technique that involves massage. Massage cupping is performed by placing oil on the skin and moving the cup, by a weak suction, on the treatment site.

5. Medium Cupping – A general purpose, medium strength cupping.

6. Light Cupping – This method applies a weak suction in the cup. It is ideal for the elderly and for children.

7. Hot Cupping – This technique uses dried leaves of Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) leaves which are sometimes called Moxa. In hot cupping, a needle is inserted first then warmed with a dried lit Mugwort. Afterwards, a cup is applied over it.

8. Herbal Cupping – Into the cup an appropriate herbal tincture is placed and then the cup is applied with suction.

9. Flash Cupping – In this technique several medium cuppings are done many times in quick succession to stimulate the targeted area.

10. Bleeding Cupping – Also called Wet Cupping or Full Cupping. It is the most effective, oldest, and most frequently technique. The skin is scraped with a surgical instrument and then a cup is applied to collect blood.

Illnesses That Can Be Treated With Cupping

Blood disorders, asthma, chest pain, diarrhea and constipation, fever, stroke, insomnia, flu and the common cold, bedwetting, breast enhancement, high blood pressure, rheumatic diseases, sexual disorders, infertility, muscle and joint pain, back pain, and headache.

Contra-Indications and Precautions

You or your therapist should always take sensible precautions when performing cupping. These include:

• Using the proper cups for the site being treated.

• Sterilization

• Not applying strong cupping to the face

• Using extra care when treating the elderly and children

• Not using cupping on cut or inflamed skin.

• Taking extra care when scraping the skin and be sure to not cut an artery or vein.

• Not using cupping on people with serious heart disease and pregnant women.

Using Cupping Therapy on Acupuncture Points

In 2005, the researchers wrote in the Journal of Biomechanics that said “In acupuncture treatment, cupping is deemed to be a practical alternative to needles in stimulating acupoints. One of its biggest advantages is preventing the transfer of blood-borne diseases since the skin is not penetrated.”

Thus, we can see that cupping is a viable alternative to acupuncture, or can be used as an adjunct to it. Several researchers have studied and shown the cupping therapy’s benefits which in the near future will be the most used alternative medical practice in the US.