Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine in which the therapist puts special cups on the skin for a few minutes to engender suction. It is used for many purposes, including pain reliever, increase blood flow, inflammation, relaxation, and well-being, and used as a type of deep-tissue massage.
Through suction, the skin is drawn into the cup by engendering a vacuum in the cup placed on the skin over the targeted area. The vacuum can be engendered either by the heating and subsequent cooling of the air in the cup or via a mechanical pump. The cup is customarily left in place for somewhere between five to fifteen minutes. It is believed by some to help treat pain condition, deep scar tissues in muscles and connective tissue, muscle knots, and swelling; however, the effectiveness of this is unproven.
Effectiveness of Cupping Therapy
Cupping, as of 2016, is poorly fortified by scientific evidence. In their 2008 book Artifice or Treatment, Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst indite that no evidence exists of any beneficial effects of cupping for any medical condition. A 2011 review found tentative evidence for pain but nothing else. The way it works is obscure but might involve the placebo effect.
Some claim that cupping is an alternative treatment for cancer. However, American Cancer Society notes that “available scientific evidence does not fortify claims that cupping has any health benefits” and withal that the treatment carries a minuscule risk of burns.
Cupping is generally safe when applied by trained professionals. It does not recommend cupping as a replacement for the typical treatment. Cupping can cause bruising, burns, pain, and/or skin infection.
Research suggests, cupping is harmful, especially people who are thin or extravagantly corpulent: According to Jack Raso (1997), cupping results in capillary expansion, exorbitant fluid accumulation in the tissues, and the ruptured blood vessels.
Fire cupping may sometimes result in minor to rigorous burns, and may lead to hospitalization and may even require skin grafting to rehabilitate the injury. Withal, other burns, because of carelessness with the flammable substances being used, such as spills and over application, can additionally occur.
Where Did Cupping Come From?
People practiced fire cupping in Europe, Africa, and Asia for thousands of years. It is not clearly a Chinese invention. The Ebers Papyrus one of the oldest medical textbooks in the world describes that in 1550 B.C. the Egyptians used cupping.
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Types of Cupping
We select different cupping based on treatment goals. There are also different cups. Most commonly, cups are of glass made. However, a thousand years ago, cups are of bamboo, clay, or animal horns. According to traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and acupuncturist, they call the classic cupping technique ba guan zi, which is fire or dry cupping. This involves placing the cup over the painful area point or an acupuncture point. The cups place from five to 20 minutes depending on the individual’s condition. A general course of treatment requires four to six sessions in intervals three to ten days.
- Fire Cupping
- Wet Cupping
The cupping procedure commonly involves engendering a small area of the low air pressure of the skin. However, there are varieties in the implements used, the methods of engendering the low pressure, and the procedures followed during the treatment.
The cups can be of sundry(various) shapes including balls or bells and may range in size from 1 to 3 inches across the opening. Plastic and glass are the common materials used today, superseding the horn, pottery, bronze and bamboo cups used in earlier times. The low air pressure required may be engendered by heating the cup or the air inside it with an open flame or a bath in sultry scented oils, then placing it against the skin. As the air inside the cup cools, it contracts and draws the skin remotely inside. More recently, the vacuum is engendered with a mechanical suction pump acting through a valve at the top of the cup. Rubber cups are withal available that constrict the air out and habituate to uneven or bony surfaces.
Cups are used only on softer tissue that can compose a good seal with the edge of the cup. They may be used singly or with many to cover a more immense area. They may be utilized by themselves or placed over an acupuncture needle. The skin may be lubricated, sanctioning the cup to move across the skin gradually.
Skin markings are common after the cups are abstracted(removed), varying from simple red rings that vanish relatively quickly, to discolorization from bruising, especially if cups are dragged while suctioned from one place to another, ostensibly to break down muscle fiber. Conventionally treatments are not very painful.
Cupping therapy is the therapy in which it engenders a local suction on the skin; practitioners believe this mobilizes blood flow to promote healing.
Suction is engendered using heat (fire) or mechanical devices (hand or electrical pumps).
Today, wet cupping is a very popular remedy practiced in many components of the Muslim world. Alternatively, mild suction is engendered using a cup and a pump (or heat suction) on the selected area and left for about three minutes.
The cup is then abstracted and diminutive it makes superficial skin incisions using a cupping scalpel.