Relatively new to Western medicine, cupping therapy has been used throughout history in other cultures and is particularly popular in China. Cupping involves the use of cups which are suctioned to the skin to promote blood flow. In Chinese medicine it is believed to help the flow of qi (life force) through the body.
There are different types of cupping therapies; wet and dry. Dry cupping only involves using cups with heat to create suction. Wet cupping on the other hand uses the same method as dry cupping but takes it a step further. The dry cupping method is performed for 3-5 minutes and after the removal of the cups, small cuts are made on the raised area to release any bad fluids. A second cup is then placed on the same raised area to suck up the blood. After this is done, bandages are applied.
The method used depends on your medical condition as well as what is preferred by your practitioner.
Benefits to Cupping Therapy
The use of cupping is backed up mostly by the history of its use. It’s not a extremely common practice but has been known to have health benefits. Dry cupping can be used with other forms of treatment such as massage and acupuncture for additional relief. Wet cupping cannot be combined with other methods of treatment. Cupping therapy can help with the following:
- Pain reduction
- Promoting relaxation
- Skin Health
- Treatment of respiratory issues and the common cold
- Digestion improvement
Cupping therapy has been shown to treat specific conditions as well as the more broad terms listed above.
Cupping Therapy Criticisms
Throughout Hollywood, stars and particularly professional athletes are getting a lot of flack for using cupping therapy. Some experts think it’s a waste of money and that there are better treatment options available. Others believe that there is little to no significant evidence that shows cupping therapy to be a proven way of treatment. There are professionals who see cupping as a placebo, in the sense that if you believe it works then you’ll feel better. Even with this criticism, it is still incredibly popular among people.
If you’re interested in trying cupping therapy, it’s best to talk to a professional to see if it would be a good method of treatment for you.