By Jon Stiffler PTA, Spine Center Coordinator
The practice of cupping dates back to ancient times and is widely used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Cupping should only be performed by a trained professional such as an Acupuncturist.
There are 2 types of cupping: Dry cupping and bleeding (or wet) cupping. Dry cupping is said to provide a more relaxing and therapeutic effect whereas wet cupping (controlled bleeding) is said to provide a more “curative-treatment approach”.
During a cupping session, specialized glass cups are placed over the area to be treated and then a “vacuum” or suctioning effect is created by using heat or a hand pump. Cupping is said to provide patients with an increase in localized blood flow and an increased circulation of lymphatic fluid. It is believed that circulating the lymphatic fluid and increasing blood flow to an otherwise stagnant area enhances healing to the treated area.
Commonly treated conditions that are said to benefit from cupping are:
- Respiratory diseases (common cold, bronchitis, pneumonia)
- Rheumatic Disorders (Arthritic joint conditions)
- Fertility and gynecological disorders
- Skin problems (eczema / acne)