Cupping therapy dates back to ancient Egyptian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern cultures. One of the oldest medical textbooks in the world, the Ebers Papyrus, describes how the ancient Egyptians used cupping therapy in 1,550 B.C.
What is Cupping and how does it work?
Cupping is a traditional Chinese method in which special cups (our clinic uses glass cups) are placed on your skin to create suction. Our physicians or trained therapists heat the cups to create a vacuum by placing a burning cotton ball into the cup before placing the cups onto specific points on the body corresponding to various meridians. The suction created by the cups exerts negative pressure on the muscles which helps to increase blood circulation, relieve muscle aches and tension, and improve Qi flow along the meridians. After a session, patients usually report feeling light and relaxed.
We also provide another type of cupping which includes bloodletting, where normal fire cupping is first done to increase blood circulation. Afterwards, our physician makes micro-incisions on the surface of the skin before placing the cup to create a suction force which draws out the stagnant blood that has gathered at the surface of the skin.
It is proposed that cupping can also help eliminate skin inflammation, causing breakouts from acne or eczema to ease up. Cupping could possibly help improve immune function by moving blood and lymphatic fluid throughout the body, but more research needs to be done to support the above.
The British Cupping Society says that cupping therapy is used to treat:
- Blood disorders such as anaemia and haemophilia
- Rheumatic diseases such as arthritis and fibromyalgia
- Fertility and gynaecological disorders
- Skin problems such as eczema and acne
- High blood pressure
- Anxiety and depression
- Bronchial congestion caused by allergies and asthma
- Varicose veins
But more research needs to be done to strengthen these claims.