What is Cupping?

Cupping is an ancient therapy traditionally using animal horns, bamboo shoots to treat boils, snakebites and skin lesions, however, with modern research the range of use has extended.

Cupping is a therapy that utilises cups, at times plastic with a suction tool, or glass cups where fire is used to de-oxidise the cup and suck the skin inwards. Regardless of tools used, both have the same therapeutic effect and move blood and in turn, reduce inflammation.

There is one step to cupping where the cups are placed on specific points on the body such as trigger points or acupuncture points, the skin is sucked into the cup and left alone for several minutes or can be used as a massage technique to gain a deeper fascia release.

Types of Cupping?

There are many types of cupping, most common are:

  • Dry Cupping – Cups are placed on the skin or used as a massage tool
  • Wet Cupping – Blood is extracted with the use of a medical tool such as a blade or lancet, then the suction cups are applied to extract blood

How is Cupping Used for Health?

Different types of cupping are used for different types of injuries/medical conditions although all benefits stem from the blood moving properties of cupping.

What is Hijama/Wet Cupping?

Wet Cupping is an ancient form of therapy used by middle-eastern and eastern cultures that extracts blood in order to treat medical conditions. It is different from conventional cupping as it is a two-step process:

1. The first step is to place the glass or plastic cups on the specific area and leave it for a few minutes to bring blood flow to the surface. This will cause an accumulation of blood to gather under the cup, thus the red/purplish colour.

2. Then once the cup is removed, either with a blood lancet or medical blade to scratch or prick the skin and once again the cup is replaced on the same spot. This will cause further suction and the blood is extracted.

Upon observation of the blood, it appears typically clotted, at times bubbly or even sticky. The cup remains for a couple of minutes and then the blood is cleared and the area is sterilized to prevent infection. This is Wet Cupping, in essence it is a two-step process that is very therapeutic if performed correctly.

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