Ancient Art Modern Results
The people of ancient China were vastly ahead of their time in the art of healing. Several ancient Chinese healing methods are still used and recognized by physicians today as effective treatment methods for many ailments. For those seeking relief from illness or pain without harmful medicines and side effects, these treatments are a god-send. Cupping is one such treatment that has proven effective on respiratory conditions, gastrointestinal disorders, and certain types of pain.
History Of Cupping
The first recorded use of cupping was in the early fourth century, but archeologists have found cupping may have been used as far back as 5000 years ago – making it one of the oldest treatments of Chinese medicine. Later Chinese dynasties recorded the art of cupping in more detail giving us insight into its rich history.
The original practitioners of cupping used the horns of animals as cups, and placed them over the meridians of their patients. Throughout the centuries many other materials have been used including bamboo, ceramic, and stone. Modern day practitioners use glass cups because they are harder to break, and you can see through them.
There are two main types of cupping therapy dry cupping and wet cupping. Both types use a flammable substance – alcohol, herbs, or paper. The material is placed into the cup and set on fire. When the fire goes out the cup is placed upon the patient and cools creating a vacuum. This vacuum reddens the skin and expands the blood vessels. In many areas of Asia it is believed this also improves the flow of chi throughout the body.
- Dry Cupping – Uses suction only as described above.
- Wet Cupping – During wet cupping a small incision is made into the skin, and the vacuum is used to draw out a small amount of blood removing toxins.
Once the procedure is complete the skin is usually covered with some type of antibiotic, and will return to normal within two weeks.