Updated: Jul 30, 2019
This therapy was amongst the hype when the Olympics were on in 2016, on many major sports athletes and celebrities worldwide. But what really is cupping therapy and what kind of disorders can they assist with?
This type of therapy has been used for thousands of years in China and documented in the Inspirations of External Medicine and the Orthodox Manual of External Medicine from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
This therapy is one that is very simple and can be effective for many internal and external diseases. It involves the suction of skin of the affected area into a cup which is either kept stationary or moved to gain therapeutic effect. Depending on the application, there are multiple indications that cupping therapy is used for.
These may include:
- Hard and soft tissue injury that cause pain in the neck, shoulders and back.
- Respiratory disorders including common cold causing cough and asthma.
- Digestive disorders alike anorexia, constipation, diarrhoea in children
- Skin disorders such as severe itching of the skin
And possibly other disorders that affect the urogenital, nervous and endocrine systems as well as mental disorders.
From a Chinese Medicine point of view this therapy aims to dissolve qi and blood stagnation, expel wind and cold, unblock channels, resolve inflammation and pain and eliminate toxins from the system to gain holistic balance within the patients system.
From a western medical viewpoint, this therapy has seen conclusive research demonstrating that cupping therapy induces a negative pressure suction, increases pain threshold, promotes microcirculation and enhance immunity through the initiation of human immunoglobin! Due to these effects, cupping therapy is commonly used in conjunction with acupuncture. However it is essential to check with your professional practitioner in regards to using these therapies as there are contraindications that accompany cupping therapy, in which one should seek alternate treatment.