Cupping therapy is a 3,000-year old healing modality that was developed by different cultures across the world. The earliest accounts of the practice of cupping therapy and its many benefits emerged from China though researchers are still unsure if travelers carried it to other countries from the point of origin.
Called by different names, healers have used cupping to treat various ailments ranging from musculoskeletal, dermal, and digestive to psychological conditions like stress, depression, and anxiety. The therapy can also be used to treat physical illnesses that result from mental stress and anxiety. More read about Cupping here.
What are the different types of cupping?
Cupping was originally performed using animal horns. Later the “cups” were made from bamboo and then ceramic. The suction was primarily created through the use of heat. The cups were originally heated with fire and then applied to the skin. As they cooled, the cups drew the skin inside.
Modern cupping is often performed using glass cups that are rounded like balls and open on one end. There are two main categories of cupping performed today:
- dry cupping, which is a suction-only method
- wet cupping, which may involve both suction and controlled medicinal bleeding
Your practitioner, your medical condition, and your preferences will help determine what method is used.
Cupping Therapy Benefits :
What conditions can cupping treat?
Cupping has been used to treat a wide variety of conditions. It may be particularly effective at easing conditions that create muscle aches and pains. Since the cups can also be applied to major acupressure points, the practice is possibly effective at treating digestive issues, skin issues, and other conditions commonly treated with acupressure.
In 2012, the journal PLoS One published a review of cupping therapy that suggests its healing power may be more than just a placebo effect. The researchers found that cupping therapy may help with the following conditions, among others:
- herpes zoster
- facial paralysis
- a cough and dyspnea
- lumbar disc herniation
- cervical spondylosis
The authors acknowledge that most of the 135 studies they reviewed contain a high level of bias. More studies are needed to assess the true effectiveness of cupping.
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