An ancient therapy
Cupping has been around for thousands of years, but is recently seeing a huge rise in popularity. It is particularly used in sports massage but can also be used to treat blood disorders, skin problems and anxiety, and much more.
What is cupping?
Cupping therapy is a popular therapy now, but it dates back to ancient Egyptian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern cultures. One of the oldest medical textbooks in the world, the Ebers Papyrus, describes how the ancient Egyptians used cupping therapy in 1,550 B.C.
The cups used are commonly made of glass, but can also be made of bamboo, earthenware or silicone.
Traditionally, your therapist will put a flammable substance such as alcohol, herbs, or paper in a cup and set it on fire. As the fire goes out, they will put the cup upside down on your skin. As the air inside the cup cools, it creates a vacuum, causing your skin to rise and redden as your blood vessels expand. The cup is generally left in place for up to 3 minutes.
Modern cupping practitioners often use a pump instead of fire to create the vacuum inside the cup. Silicone cups can be used, which can move from place to place on your skin for a massage-like effect.
What is cupping used for?
Cupping therapy can be beneficial in treating:
- Blood disorders such as anemia and hemophilia
- Rheumatic diseases such as arthritis and fibromyalgia
- Fertility and gynecological disorders
- Skin problems such as eczema and acne
- High blood pressure
- Anxiety and depression
- Bronchial congestion caused by allergies and asthma
- Varicose veins