Cupping therapy is an ancient Chinese form of alternative medicine in which a local suction is created on the skin; It is believed cupping can help to stimulate the flow of blood, balances and realigns the flow of Qi, breaks up obstructions, and creates an avenue for toxins to be drawn out of the body.Suction is created using heat (fire) or mechanical devices (hand or electrical pumps).
In a typical cupping session, glass cups are warmed using a cotton ball or other flammable substance, which is soaked in alcohol, let, then placed inside the cup. Burning a substance inside the cup removes all the oxygen, which creates a vacuum. In addition to the traditional form of cupping described above, which is known as “dry” cupping, some practitioners also use what is called “wet” or “air” cupping. In “air” cupping, instead of using a flame to heat the cup, the cup is applied to the skin, and a suction pump is attached to the rounded end of the jar. The pump is then used to create the vacuum. In “wet” cupping, the skin is punctured before treatment. When the cup is applied and the skin is drawn up, a small amount of blood may flow from the puncture site, which are believed to help remove harmful substances and toxins from the body.
Depending on the condition being treated, the cups will be left in place from 5 to 15 minutes. Several cups may be placed on a patient’s body at the same time.
While cupping is considered very safe when it is applied by experienced acupuncturists , it may cause small, circular bruises on the areas where the cups were applied. These bruises are usually painless, and will disappear within a few days of treatment.
Cupping is used primarily to treat respiratory conditions such as bronchitis, common cold, pneumonia, asthma and congestion; arthritis; gastrointestinal disorders; and certain types of pain. Some practitioners also use cupping to treat depression, high blood pressure and other conditions.