Acupressure is an ancient Chinese healing method that involves applying pressure to meridian pint to relieve pain.
So What is This About?
Cupping uses glass cups that are placed on the skin
Fire creates a vacuum inside the cup.
The cups pull the skin into them, creating negative pressure inside the body.
Cupping Therapy increases circulation and promotes healing.
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Historical records on cupping date back to the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC), when it was called horn therapy. It gradually developed in the Southern and Northern Dynasties (AD 420-581), was a Taoist medical practice and was widely used in the courts of Imperial China. In the Sui Dynasty (AD 581-618) and the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907), the cupping implement was improved, and a bamboo jar replaced animal horns. In the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), cupping had become a key treatment in traditional Chinese medicine. The present name was coined in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) when the jar used began to be made of pottery.
These days most acupuncturists use cups made of thick glass or plastic, although bamboo, iron and pottery cups are still used in some places. Glass cups are the preferred method, because they do not break as easily as pottery or deteriorate like bamboo, and they allow doctors to observe the skin and evaluate the effects of treatment.
provided here courtesy of Chinese National Health Commission
Cupping therapy belongs to traditional Chinese medicine, the heritage from several thousand years. It is used with one of several kinds of cups, such as bamboo cups, glasses or earthen cups, placing them on the desired acupoints on patients' skin, to make the local place hyperemia or haemostasis, which can obtain the purpose of curing the diseases. The earliest records of cupping is in Bo Shu (an ancient book written on silk), which was discovered in an ancient tomb of the Han Dynasty in 1973. Some therapeutic cupping methods and case records of treatment were also described in early Chinese books. Zhao Xueming, a Chinese doctor practicing more than 200 years ago, completed a book named "Ben Cao Gang Mu Shi Yi", in which he described in detail the history and origin of different kinds of cupping and cup shapes, functions and applications.
There are seven major types of cupping practice in China. Usually, cupping practitioners utilize the flaming heating power to achieve suction (minus pressure) inside the cups to make them apply on the desired part of the body. This basic suction method of cupping therapy is called retained cupping, which is most commonly used in Chinese clinics as the first type of cupping. Besides this kind of suction, different types of cupping composed with different methods. The second type of cupping is bleeding cupping (or wet cupping), which contains two steps: before the suction of the cups, practitioners should make some small incisions with a triangle-edged needle or plum-blossom needle firmly tapping the acupoint for a short time to cause bleeding; the third one is moving cupping, which practitioners should control the suction by gently moving the cup toward one direction; then is empty cupping, which means the cups are removed after suction without delay; or needle cupping, which should apply the acupuncture first, then apply the cups over the needle. Cupping practitioners may also used other methods of suction, such as medicinal (herbal) cupping, which used bamboo cups, usually put the cups and herbal into a deep pan with water and boiled them together, after 30 minutes apply the cup suction on specific points according to steam instead of fire; or water cupping which is a technique involves filling a glass or bamboo cup one-third full with warm water and pursuing the cupping process in a rather quick fashion. Each kind of cupping therapy may be used for different diseases or different purposes of treatment.
provided here courtesy of BioMed Central and NIH