Cupping is an ancient healing technique that dates back thousands of years. Although the specific applications vary from place to place, the use of cupping is found in cultures around the world. Cupping has application in the treatment of injuries resulting from physical trauma, as a body maintenance and performance enhancement technique by professional athletes, and as a health care tool used to treat a variety of medical conditions including asthma, anaemia, bronchitis, congestion, and the common cold. Cupping works by placing suction cups on the body to induce a negative pressure over the treatment area. This works to draw blood to the surface of the skin. Cupping often leads to the formation of bruise-like marks on the skin. The size and number of the cups used depends on the treatment, and cupping should be only performed by a trained therapist under special procedures.
Cupping therapy can be used to treat a variety of conditions. It can be used almost anywhere on the body, including the feet and face. Cupping helps boost the body’s natural healing process by increasing blood flow within the treatment area. This has the effect of speeding up the healing process and soothing sore joints and muscles.
Cupping has been shown to provide a variety of beneficial health effects including increasing blood and lymphatic circulation, pain management, reducing inflammation, healing of sports injuries, enhancing mental relaxation and sense of well-being, and as a type of deep tissue massage.
Cupping also can help patients to relax and may induce a sense of both mental and physical peace. And because it works to calm the nervous system, cupping therapy has potential for treatment of stress, anxiety, and other mental ailments.
In general, cupping is contra-indicated directly on veins, arteries, nerves, skin inflammation, any skin lesion, body orifices, eyes, lymph nodes, or varicose veins. Cupping is also contra-indicated on open wounds, bone fractures, and sites of deep vein thrombosis. Cupping therapy contra-indications can be classified into absolute and relative contra-indications.
Cupping therapy is absolute contra-indicated in cancer patients, those with any organ failure such as renal failure, hepatic failure, or heart failure, also in patients using a pacemaker and those suffering from haemophilia or similar conditions.
It is relative contra-indicated in patients with acute infection, using anticoagulants, severe chronic disease such as heart diseases, pregnancy, puerperium, menstruation, anaemia, recent wet cupping session, recent blood donation, and medical emergencies.