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Cupping Therapy: Benefits and Uses

July 10, 2019 by

Cupping therapy has been used for thousands of years, dating back at least to 1,550 B.C. Historically, it was used in ancient Chinese, Egyptian, and Middle Eastern Cultures. This form of alternative medicine can help patients deal with pain, circulation, inflammation, and relaxation.

During a cupping therapy session, a therapist applies special cups to a patient’s skin in order to create a suction. These cups could be made out of bamboo, glass, earthenware, or silicone.

Patients can choose between wet cupping and dry cupping. During either type of cupping, a therapist puts a flammable substance like alcohol or paper in a cup and lights it on fire. While the fire is extinguishing, the therapist places the cup upside down on the patient’s skin.

The cup then turns into a vacuum as the air inside of it cools, causing one’s skin to become suctioned. This then causes blood vessels to expand as the cup is left on the skin for up to 3 minutes.

Modern versions of cupping use a rubber pump rather than fire to create a vacuum effect. Also, modern therapists may use silicone cups that they can move around your body, providing you with a massage.

During your first session of cupping, you may choose to just get one cup to see how you like it. Otherwise, you may get 3-5 cups, but rarely will a patient get more than 7 cups.

During wet cupping, the therapist makes small cuts in the skin where the cup was after removing it and then reapplies the cup to the skin to draw out blood. After doing this, the therapist may apply an antibiotic cream and bandage so you do not get an infection. Your skin should return to its normal appearance after about a week and a half.

People who practice cupping often believe that wet cupping eliminates toxins from the body and promotes healing, however, this has not been proven. While there has not been a lot of research on cupping, studies haves suggested that it is effective in treating acne, herpes zoster, and reducing pain. Cupping therapy may also increase the effectiveness of other therapies such as acupuncture.

Cupping is fairly safe if you go to someone who is a professional. You may experience topical side effects such as bruising or redness on your skin. As always, check with your doctor before starting a cupping regimen. Make sure that there is nothing that you do or medicines that you take that could make cupping possibly harmful for your health.

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