In traditional Chinese medicine, cupping is a very old form of treatment. The ancient Chinese used cupping to treat people with respiratory problems, like congestion, bronchitis, and asthma. It can also treat arthritis, some painful symptoms, and gastrointestinal disorders.

How does cupping work? What health issues does it treat?

When a practitioner administers the cupping treatment, a flammable material like a cotton ball is placed into a glass cup and then the cup is heated. This cotton ball is usually soaked in something flammable like alcohol. As the cotton ball burns while inside of the cup, it forms a vacuum because all the oxygen is removed from it.

While the material inside the cup continues to burn, the practitioner turns the cup upside-down and then places it on a particular area of the patient’s body. The force of the vacuum pulls the skin upward toward the interior of the cup, allowing the cup to stay attached to the skin. But the skin that’s being pulled into the cup is the area that’s being treated. This is believed to open up the pores of the skin and allow blood flow to be stimulated within this area. More importantly, it balances the Qi energy flow by ridding the body of toxins and obstructions.

The practitioner normally leaves the cup on the skin area between 5 and 10 minutes. There are usually multiple cups simultaneously placed on different areas of the patient’s body. To enhance the healing effect, even more, a practitioner may apply tiny drops of herbal or medicated oils onto the area that’s about to be covered with the cup. This also makes it easier for the practitioner to move the cup to different meridians of the body.

Cupping can help treat the following health issues:

1) Problems with the skin.
2) Disorders of the circulatory system, such as numbness, anemia, and palpitation.
3) Deficiency in the immune system, such as fatigue.
4) Disorder with the digestive system, such as indigestion, constipation, gastritis, and diarrhea.
5) Mental health issues like insomnia, depression, stress, and anxiety.
6) Disorders of the upper respiratory tract, such as allergies, common cold, and asthma.
7) Neurological issues, like TMJ, headache, and migraine.

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