Chinese Medical Cupping Therapy

What is Chinese Medical Cupping?

Chinese Medical Cupping is an ancient practice in which a cup is applied to the skin via a heated flame. The flame sucks out the air causing a partial vacuum. In some cases the cups are left in place, and in other traditions the cup may be moved while the suction of skin is active, causing a pulling of the skin the technique is called gliding cupping. Chinese Medical Cupping therapy has been practiced for thousands of years for the treatment of disease and pain. Cupping therapy is well known throughout the world. In the west we call it cupping. In Latin America they call it ventusis and in Yiddish they call it bonkus. It has been documented that on all five continents methods of cupping were found to be in used for healing. Typically cupping has been used to move bad blood that is stagnant blood. In Chinese medicine pain is due to qi stagnation. This stagnation can be a result of injury or stress. Chinese Medical Cupping is used to reduce the pain of stagnant Qi and blood. Cupping stimulates the flow of Qi and blood. Its uses include relieving pain in the muscles, back pain, shoulder pain and stiffness. Cupping therapy has been used to clear congestion in the chest, due to cold, flu and asthma.

How is Chinese Medical Cupping done?

The Acupuncturist takes a number of glass cups, which are heated with a flame. The cup is then quickly applied to the skin. This creates a vacuum. Generally, the cup is left in place for about 10 minutes (typical range is 5-15 minutes). The skin becomes reddened due to the congestion of blood flow. The cup is removed by pressing the skin along side it to allow some outside air to leak into it, thus equalizing the pressure and releases it.