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The Chinese Art of Cupping

All of these conditions may be improved with cupping.

Today cupping is done with glass or bamboo cups. It is common to use fire to help create a vacuum within the cup. Traditionally horns of animals were used to create a cup. It is a proven therapeutic practice in many areas of health.

Imagine being sick to your stomach with no Pepto-Bismol or Tums to help out. The classics state that cupping promotes the free flow of Qi and Blood in the channels. Promoting the free flow of Qi and Blood is good for many problems with pain or aching. It is known to help the stomach with stomachaches, indigestion, diarrhea, and vomiting. It soothes and relieves epigastric pain. Systemically it has been used to relieve hypertension.

In Chinese Medicine many diseases are created from the attack of an external pathogen. The classics state that cupping draws out pathogenic factors at the surface. These pathogenic factors includes Wind, Heat, Cold, and Damp. Cupping is known to help such Wind-Cold symptoms as aversion to wind, chills, headache, tightness in the chest or muscles, dizziness, and other common cold symptoms. It will help a Wind-Heat attack with dry red eyes, sore throat, coughing, wheezing, and asthma.

The classics state that cupping warms. Many cold conditions are improved with cupping. The includes the Wind-Damp condition of joints with painful tendons and/or bone with rheumatism. Low back pain with sore, tight muscles can often be improved from cupping.

The ancients understood that cupping diminishes swelling and pain. They used it with traumatic injuries to help relieve swelling and pain. Some would even bleed an injury to help remove some of the swelling directly with the cupping for immediate relief. On the skin this often relieves non-ulcerated furuncles. Traditionally it was used with snake bites.

Cupping should be used with caution with surface skin that is an allergic reaction, dermatitis, ulcerated sores, blood vessels, varicose veins, moles, malignant tumors, and acute swelling. It should not be used with high fever, convulsions, or with someone who is unconscious or semiconscious. Cupping should be avoided on the lumbar or sacral area for pregnancy or menstruation.

Cupping can take from 3 days to 2 weeks to heal. After receiving cupping it is important to follow these guidelines.