The Chinese cupping therapy is an ancient practice, which complements acupuncture treatment and massage therapy. It is a process in which cups are placed on specific areas of the body along the meridians to create a vacuum or suction-like pressure for the purpose of drawing out toxins and thus helping in better blood flow and pain management. Most of the Chinese philosophies are based on the energy principles of Yin and Yang.
Yin represents the dark, passive, downward, cold, contracting, and weak forces and yang represents traits that are exactly the opposite like bright, active, upward, hot, expanding, and strong. If there is an equilibrium between these two types of energy, it is a sign of good health. Sickness or disease is caused whenever there is a disruption or imbalance between Yin and Yang.
The cupping treatment is based on this philosophy. In a sick individual the Yang factor is more than the Yin factor, creating an imbalance. The above therapy flushes out the Yang factor and restores the Yin factor, striking an optimum balance to restore the individual’s good health. The suction created in this method loosens the stressed nerve endings and restores them to their original state, thus relieving pain.
This therapy is known to treat various problems like headaches, migraines, arthritis, muscular aches, sciatica, and back pain. It is a therapy, which may not fight the disease or virus directly, but it strengthens the body to combat the disease by giving a boost to the immune system or by increasing the capacity of the body to produce more antiviral substances and antibodies.
Following is the procedure of this suction cup therapy. First, a specific medicinal oil is applied to the affected area and then the cup is heated from the inside using a flame, so that a vacuum is created within the cup. These cups are immediately placed on the skin and suction takes place. The cups are kept on the body for few minutes and then removed. Sometimes, they are moved along specific muscles and nerve endings to improve the blood circulation in the area.
The effects of this therapy are quite similar to those of massages and acupressure therapy. In some cases, the cup marks remain on the skin for some time, but disappear within a matter of about fifteen to twenty days. In ancient times, the cups were made up of animal horns, glass, and bamboo. Nowadays, there are new and improved sets of cups combined with magnets and vacuum pumps available in the market.