Cupping is a method of creating a vacuum on the patient's skin to dispel stagnation (stagnant blood and lymph), thereby improving qi flow, in order to treat respiratory diseases such as the common cold, pneumonia and bronchitis.
Cupping is a form of therapy widely used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It consists of creating a local suction on the skin using heat with fire. This method draws out toxins, mobilizes blood flow, soothes muscle pain and helps cure insomnia.
Cupping has a long history. The Ebers Papyrus, written c. 1550 BC, considered one of the oldest medical textbooks in the Western world, describes how the Egyptians used cupping to help cure some frequent medical issues and how it was also used by Saharan peoples. Hippocrates, a Greek physician also used this technique c. 400 BC to treat internal disease and some structural problems.
Ge Hong (281-341 A.D.) who was a minor southern official during the Jin Dynasty was the first to use it in China. He was interested in alchemy, herbalism and techniques of longevity. Ge Hong popularized the saying “Acupuncture and cupping, more than half of the ills cured.” Later on, this method found its way throughout Asia and Europe.
Cupping has been used to treat a wide variety of medical conditions. Among them, blood disorders, rheumatic diseases, gynecological problems and skin disorders such as eczema and acne. Those who receive the treatment also claim improvement in their physical and psychological well-being.