Cupping is an ancient technique that has been used by many cultures such as Eastern Europeans,Egyptians and Asians. One of the oldest medical textbooks in the world, the Ebers Papyrus, describes how the ancient Egyptians were using cupping therapy in 1,550 B.C.

Cupping therapy is the method of using glass or plastic cups to create localized pressure by a vacuum. The traditional glass fire cups are used by lighting an alcohol swab and inserting it with a clamp inside a cup. After the oxygen has been taken out it provides a suction against the skin. Other modern types of cups include suction or screw vacuum cups. Two styles of cupping can be used-stationary or sliding cups.

Cupping is used to increase blood flow, decrease inflammation, decrease toxins and decrease accumulated phlegm from bronchial infections. In addition, the goal of Chinese cupping therapy is to move stagnation of blood and qi and disperse internal heat, The following conditions can be treated with cupping: body pain such as fibromyalgia, sciatic pain, poor circulation of blood and lymph, lung inflammation and congestion.

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Sharon McDermott, L.Ac.

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