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The earliest use of cupping that is recorded is from the famous Taoist alchemist and herbalist, Ge Hong (281–341 A.C.E.). The method was described in his book A Handbook of Prescriptions for Emergencies, in which the cups were actually animal horns. This technique developed over time and has also been found in the folk medicine of Vietnam, the Balkans, modern Greece, and Russia. Even Islamic healing traditions use cupping where it is known as hijamah in Arabic. More recently, Zhao Xuemin, during the Qing Dynasty, wrote Supplement to Outline of Materia Medica, including an entire chapter on “fire jar qi” (huoquan qi). In it, he emphasized the value of this treatment, using cups made of bamboo or pottery. Recent development of thick walled glass cups are used in modern times.
Cupping was initially used to treat disorders such as the common cold, pneumonia, and bronchitis. However as the technique developed it is now used to treat many more complaints.


What does cupping do?
Cupping releases the exterior of the body by moving body fluids and blood, stimulating blood flow and helping to discharge trapped external pathogenic factors through the skin. The skin will feel warm and red marks are often seen after a cupping treatment. This redness or purplish hue to the skin is trapped or congealed blood that is not circulating properly in the body. In Classical Chinese medicine Cupping is used to treat

Chronic bronchitis and asthma
Dysentery, diarrhea and acute and chronic gastritis
Soft tissue injury
Leukorrhea, Uterine cramps and irregular menstruation
Common cold
Facial paralysis

The most common way cupping is applied is to create a vacuum by heating the air in a glass cup, which is then quickly applied to the skin. If you have Cupping, it can leave red circular marks on the skin. These will fade usually after 2-3 days. Strong dark marks are usually a sign of heavy stagnation of the blood in the local area. The marks may look alarming, however, the technique is extremely safe and tried and tested over thousands of years in countries all over the world.


This site may contain information on medical and health-related topics. This information is not meant to be a substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. You should not use this information for diagnosing a health problem or disease but should always consult your own physician.