Traditional Chinese medicine uses many modalities of healing; acupuncture, herbal medicine and diet therapy make up the most commonly used and Chinese cupping is gaining in popularity.
The therapy of cupping has been used in China for thousands of years. At first it was applied using cattle horns or cross sections of bamboo. Cupping was originally used as an auxiliary method in traditional Chinese surgery. Later it was found to be useful in treating other diseases and developed into a special therapeutic method.
The earliest record of cupping is in the Bo Shu , which was discovered in a tomb of the Han Dynasty. Several other ancient texts mention Chinese cupping. Several centuries later another famous medical classic, Su Sen Liang Fang, recorded an effective cure for chronic cough and the successful treatment of poisonous snake bites using cupping therapy.
Through several thousand years of accumulated clinical experience, the clinical applications of cupping have become increasingly wide. Now Chinese cupping is used to treat arthritic symptoms, asthma, the common cold, chronic cough, indigestion problems and most importantly to clear the body of toxins.
There is a saying in China: “Acupuncture and cupping, more than half of the ills cured.” In mainland China the development of cupping therapy has been rapid. In the 1950’s the clinical efficacy of cupping was confirmed by the co-research of China and acupuncturists from the former Soviet Union, and was established as an official therapeutic practice in hospitals all over China.
Today, as more people seek alternative therapies to deal with their health problems, the use of cupping is increasing. Much of the cupping equipment and methods used today are exactly the same as they were in ancient times. Mechanized pumps have been invented, and suction cups introduced.
Cupping affects the flow of Qi and blood. It helps draw out and eliminate pathogenic factors such as wind, cold, damp and heat. Cupping also moves Qi and Blood and opens the pores of the skin, thus precipitating the removal of pathogens through the skin itself.
Cupping leaves purple marks that can last up to five days. They completely disappear after a couple days.