Cupping therapy is a kind of “ancient” alternative treatment. It began as a therapy based on superstition. It’s an aspect of a pre-scientific culture. Back then, they didn’t have any clue regarding the physiological mechanisms of diseases and health.
Cupping therapy is a type of bloodletting. There are different ways to perform this, which we will be discussing further on. The process involves placing a cup against a person’s skin. Then, a partial vacuum is generated in the cup. They do this, so the blood gets sucked into the skin. The traditional way of creating the vacuum is by heating the air inside the cup by burning incense on top of it.
Nowadays the most common way of cupping is called “wet cupping.” In this treatment, the therapist would slice the skin so the blood will start to flow. This is done for different purposes. These include the removal of stagnant blood, driving out heat, and for the treatment of different afflictions. Such afflictions are a pain, high fever, convulsion, and even losing consciousness. At least that’s what modern practitioners say. In the past, cupping was done to cleanse the blood and the energy found in the blood (chi). Back then, cupping was merely a form of Chinese bloodletting.
In Arabic, wet cupping is known as “hijama,” and it’s still being performed until today. Just like any other ancient alternative treatments, the practitioners employ similar methods. They modify the ancient methods, making the treatment more acceptable to modern patients.
One modification of this treatment is what practitioners claim the treatment is for. They claim that the therapy treats or relieves symptoms many people commonly feel. These include headaches, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, and even lower back pain. These are very common ailments. So, cynics believe that the purpose of the treatment isn’t based on science but their target market.
Cupping therapy has been around since ancient times. It’s an alternative treatment in which the therapist uses cups and places them on a person’s skin. The cups can be made of the following:
- glass, or
People agree to this treatment to alleviate inflammation or pain in the body. Some also claim that it’s relaxing. It helps with the flow of blood, and it’s similar to deep-tissue massage. This therapy is becoming more popular nowadays. But a lot of people don’t know that it’s been around for centuries.
Hijama is also a medical practice done by Islam people. They use it to get relief from pain and as a treatment for some diseases. This kind of therapy was frequently done by the Muhammad, the prophet, because of all the health benefits it gave to the body. This practice wasn’t only done by Islam and Chinese people. The Greeks, Arabs, and Persians practiced it too. It has been around for a long time and present in different parts of the world.
Cupping therapy has been around for years, and it’s still being practiced until today. This is because it’s very beneficial to the body. Here are 8 scientifically proven benefits of this ancient alternative medicine treatment:
Eliminates any weakness in the body. A person may experience body weakness as a result of illnesses or malnutrition. A lot of illnesses are difficult to diagnose even by modern medicine. If these illnesses are left unchecked and untreated, they can be detrimental to the body. The effects can spread and worsen until all the parts of the body are affected.
Cupping therapy is a great way to eliminate weakness in the body. Through this treatment, a person can recover from fatigue and weakness. This is done by opening the nerves which have become stiff. When this happens, blood is released to the parts of the body which need it most. Also, any obstructions in the vessels are released without causing damage to the muscles.
Cures fever. Cupping therapy is also a great way to treat fever. It’s one of the purposes of the treatment since the ancient times. Back then, practitioners believed that fever is caused by “bad blood.” So they used this therapy to extract the blood, therefore curing the illness.
Modern science wasn’t present during the ancient times to prove this claim. But medical breakthroughs today have proof of it. Studies have shown that cupping therapy drives out pathogenic factors. These cause pain and disturbance in the homeostasis of the body.
Fights against dermatological diseases. People who have different skin diseases may also benefit from cupping therapy. These diseases may include acne, herpes, abscess, boils, and even pimples. Anydisease which is blood-related. Cupping therapy aids in the creation of lymph fluids. These are necessary for fighting off bacteria and various pathogens.
This treatment purifies the skin, eliminating any extraneous particles found in the blood. It can also help strengthen the body’s defenses to protect itself from infections. Cupping therapy helps improve the skin’s respiration. It permits the exchange of gases of the skin’s cells. When the skin cells have a good metabolic activity, the functions of the different glands improves too. The sebaceous and sweat glands aid in secreting salts and sebaceous material. These glands also aid in excreting uric acid. The main purpose of cupping therapy in dermatological diseases is to release stagnant and congested blood. But, it also helps eliminate any toxic substances from the skin’s surface.
Aids in preventing liver diseases. Cupping therapy is also helpful in preventing liver diseases. The treatment takes out the senile and stagnant corpuscles. It also extracts any impurities found in the blood. When this happens, blood flows into the liver better. This then helps the improve the liver’s functionality and productivity. It helps transform cholesterol metabolically. It’s also in charge of transforming the excess triglycerides in the blood.
If the liver isn’t able to perform these functions, the blood starts storing excess sugar. This raises the body’s blood glucose level. Through cupping therapy, the liver can detoxify the blood effectively. This process maintains the body’s optimum temperature too. The hepatic enzymes also start working well. They can break down molecules faster. When the liver works well, this means that it’s disease-free.
Improves blood circulation. Hijama or cupping therapy also affects the circulatory system positively. It helps enhance blood flow by making the veins stronger. It also strengthens the arterial muscles by eliminating congested blood. Without a consistent blood flow, the body won’t be able to function well. This is crucial for the body’s movement, neurological processes, and other processes of the body’s systems.
If the blood circulates well, the body will have good immunity against various illnesses and diseases. Aside from stimulating blood flow, cupping therapy has other benefits. It helps eliminate fluids which cause inflammation, protrusion and swelling in different areas of the body.
Treats gastrointestinal diseases. Cupping therapy is also helpful in the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases and illnesses. The body has three major powerhouses. These are the intestines, the spleen, and the stomach. These powerhouses are in charge of generating heat and energy for the body. If any of these are compromised, the body’s core temperature spikes. This causes changes in enzyme productions, which affects the entire body.
Gastrointestinal diseases such as ulcers and even constipation may occur in the body. If left unchecked and untreated, these illnesses might even prove to be fatal. Cupping therapy helps in the secretion of essential digestive fluids. These help the body absorb nutrients better. This then prevents the bloodstream from absorbing any harmful agents. This also helps increase a person’s appetite.
Heals rheumatic diseases organically. Cupping therapy also happens to be a scientifically proven treatment for rheumatic diseases. Instead of taking medication, one can also opt for this kind of treatment. People have reported an immediate relief from the effects of these diseases after some cupping therapy sessions. Rheumatic diseases such as joint pain, rheumatism, lumbago, and arthritis can be treated with such therapy.
Since cupping therapy aids in the healthy flow of blood. Because of this, the body can get the nutrients, hormones, vitamins, oxygen, and enzymes, which improves overall function. This therapy also benefits the muscles regarding their elasticity. This helps the joints carry on even when experiencing any impact. It also helps enhance the joints’ elasticity by boosting the flow of synovial fluid to them.
Helps the nervous system. Finally, cupping therapy is also beneficial to the nervous system. Nowadays, a lot of diseases and disorders in the nervous system are becoming more and more common. These issues are because of today’s climatic conditions as well as the wealth of new and complex machines. These days, many people are suffering from psychological problems which are hard to diagnose and even harder to treat.
The body’s nervous system functions when neurons communicate with each other. When this happens, the brain can transmit signals to the other parts of the body. Cupping therapy helps the brain with the process of transmitting the signals. It helps by eliminating any congestion in the brain which may result in complications. When the brain is healthy, it’s able to transmit signals well. This makes the rest of the body responds. This treatment is also extremely effective against emotional problems like depression, epilepsy, headaches, and ischemia.
Types of Cupping
There are different types of cupping therapies. They vary in the treatment methods and the goals of the practitioner. There are also different kinds of cups used. Usually, practitioners utilize glass cups during therapy. But years ago, cups were more varied. They were made of clay, bamboo, and even animal horns.
Traditional Chinese practitioners often used dry cupping. Arabs, on the other hand, were more inclined to using wet cupping therapy. Knowing the different types will help a person determine which kind of therapy to ask for when seeking treatment. Here are the different types of cupping:
Dry. In dry cupping, the therapist applies a cup on the skin’s surface with the use of a pump. Here, cups are usually made of plastic, and they are removed through suction. This technique draws the blood and the fluid away from any inflamed areas, bringing them to the skin’s surface. This type of cupping method shouldn’t be done on parts of the skin which have open wounds.
Dry cupping can be done anytime. Usually, the treatment lasts for 10-15 minutes. Some cups can be placed on the skin during the therapy. However, the practitioner needs to keep observing the cups as he is applying them to the skin. Careful observation is needed to avoid blisters on the skin’s surface.
Areas of the body which are inflamed and painful will benefit significantly from dry cupping. This is because it eases congestion, allowing the blood of the body to flow better. Dry cupping can be done every day. A person can even self-administer the cups on his own body, as long as those parts are accessible. Cup tensions can vary from strong, medium or light.
Moving. This type of cupping is done using a lot of oil. The therapist applies the oil to the area which needs to be massaged, which is frequently the back. The cup is then placed on the skin with light tension. This differs from other types of cupping therapy because the cup placed on the skin can be moved.
The therapist usually moves the cup around in sliding or circular movements.Moving cupping can also be done anytime, and for however long the person wants. With this type of therapy, the person gets to keep the cup used. He can then bring it along with him for the next therapy sessions.
Wet. For this type of cupping, the therapist first makes small scratches on the skin’s surface. To do this, a sterile blade is used. This is also done after a dry cupping session which lasts for about 3-5 minutes. After the scratches have been made, the cups are re-applied to the surface of the skin using suction. The pressure of the suction then extracts the blood which has accumulated. If the practitioner performs this procedure properly, it won’t leave any marks or scars behind.
Wet cupping is best when done on an empty stomach. So if a person is planning to have this kind of treatment, it’s recommended that he doesn’t consume anything before. After the cupping therapy, any strenuous physical activity should also be avoided, at least for the next 24 hours. Showering should also be avoided for the next 24 hours after wet cupping.
The Potential Side Effects of Cupping
Cupping may sometimes cause temporary marks on the skin. This is because the blood in the body is brought to the skin’s surface. It’s like getting bruises. People who have hemophilia or other similar diseases aren’t advised to have this kind of treatment done. If a person wants to try it despite having such diseases, he should first consult with a trained therapist or with his physician.
Also, cupping shouldn’t be done on any parts of the skin which aren’t healthy. These include skin surfaces which are inflamed, infected or burned. Although cupping is beneficial, it may also come with some side effects. These include:
- A person may experience some discomfort after the treatment.
- It may cause discoloration and bruises on the skin, especially when done on children.
- It may also lead to burns, bruises, and skin infections. These are especially true when the treatment isn’t done