Cupping is a method of applying glass cups with suction on different parts of the body to relieve muscular and joint pain, asthma, cough, fever, common cold and flu, bronchitis, Bell’s Palsy, constipation,dysmenorrhea, hypertension, headache, atrophy syndrome, and skin conditions like acne, rosacea, eczema and psoriasis.

The process usually leaves dark red or purple marks that may last a few days.

Cupping Methods Most Often Used:

Stationary cupping

The cups are applied with weak, medium or strong suction at specific areas for 5-30 minutes.

Moving or sliding cupping

The practitioner liberally applies liniment and/or oil on the affected are (this is usually done on the back), applies the cup and gently slides it alongside the affected area or meridian

Needle cupping

After the insertion of needles the practitioner may apply a glass or bamboo cup over the needle(s).

Flash cupping

Is usually applied to the back and mostly used on children. The practitioner applies up to 12 cups, then removes them in the same order and then reapplies them immediately after in different positions.

Cupping has been used for centuries both in China and the western world.  In his book “Cupping Therapy”, Ilkay Zihni Chirali, mentions the use of cupping in ancient Egypt, ancient Greece and Rome for almost every type of disease. Herodotus of Greece wrote that scarification, with cupping was very powerful in diminishing pain, decreasing inflammation, arresting hemorrhages reducing fevers and for treating digestive disorders, menstrual irregularities, somnolence and vertigo among other things. Galen and Hippocrates were both great advocates of cupping.

There are reports indicating, that European and American doctors and surgeons were employing cupping therapy to treat a variety of conditions. Wet cupping, which almost always involved scarification or bleeding, was the preferred method of cupping up until the late 1860’s. Medical attention then shifted to the therapeutic effects of dry cupping, the method most often employed today.

In the medical field, Cupping gradually died out in Europe and America in the 20th century but continues to be practiced in the homes of many Mediterranean people’s especially the Greeks, Cypriots and Turks today. In ancient times, cupping instruments were made out of animal horns. Today, cupping equipment is usually glass, plastic or bamboo.