Chinese Cupping Therapy

Cupping therapy, or Chinese cupping therapy, is a form of alternative medicine that claims to treat a broad range of medical conditions, such as blood disorders, rheumatic diseases, skin problems and general physical and mental well-being. Although referred to as 'Chinese cupping therapy' in some areas, the practice actually originated from Egypt and was also used in Islamic practices, spreading to Greece and Ancient Europe in later years.


Cupping therapy employs the use of cups and sometimes heat or mechanical devices. The cups are placed on an area of the body, usually the back, and are used to create 'suction' either by heat or a mechanical device. The suction has been claimed to increase the flow of blood in the body and generally improve most ailments by aligning a patient's 'chakra'.

Dry Cupping

This method of dry cupping involves creating a small pocket of air pressure close to the skin. The glass around the cup is heated up, or the air inside the cup is heated, with a naked flame or hot bath with scented oils. The cup is then placed, opening down, onto the body. When the air cools, it contracts and creates a 'suction' effect on the area of the body it was placed.

Fire Cupping

Fire cupping works in the same principle as dry cupping, except a cotton ball with more than 50% alcohol is lit and placed inside the cup. It is then removed and placed on the patients back. If the cup in this case is lined with oils, the cup can be moved up the back to different areas corresponding with a patients chakra.

Medical Benefits

Unfortunately, cupping has received little attention from the scientific community, but several organisations (including the American Cancer Society) has disregarded cupping as a treatment for ailments. Although the 'feel good' factor of traditional cupping therapy may be true, it is recommended to seek medical advice from a train professional before seeking any kind of alternative medication, and never rely on alternative medicine above pharmaceutical remedies.

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