Have you ever heard the word cupping therapy before? Most of you will hear this word for the first time. However, this treatment is not something new. It’s the exact opposite. According to data this cupping therapy dates 3000-5000 years back. In one of the oldest medicine books, the Ebers Papyrus, which is 3500 years old, you can find clear evidence of this treatment method. In old China you can see a frequent usage of the cupping therapy. Here, this method was used around 1000 years before Christ.
Even in old Mecca you can read in written records of prophet Mohammed that cupping therapy, which is called hijama in Arabic, is a very recommended treatment in the Islamic world. It is said that hijama is capable of healing 70 different diseases. And if you think that these are old laments of forgotten times you are wrong. We are talking about diseases which are prevalent in our times either.
Interestingly, in our modern medicine cupping therapy seems to be completely forgotten. The fast propagation of high tech means and our pill mentality have almost completely suppressed this old- fashioned treatment.
Some people do really think that this method is old-style and thus not effective. Nothing could be further from the truth. We can even see a clear revival of the cupping therapy again.
More and more patients discover this alternative treatment and let them suck their blood through cupping. This is not a coincidence, as the healing effect is so strong that it is recommended to friends and acquaintances. And this leads to a wider spread among people.
How does cupping therapy work?
There is only one main principle in cupping: Suction. With the help of glasses or cups you can achieve this suction. Cups are put on the skin of the patient and by using a vacuum pistol you are causing an underpressure which pulls the skin inside of the cup just like when using a vacuum cleaner. In older times a piece of wool was lit up an put inside of the cup or glass. This also caused an underpressure as soon as you had put it on the skin. At the same time the piece of wool also panes out.
Such a cupping therapy set can be bought in online-shops or at Amazon or Ebay for very cheap. And you can use it for a very long time if you just use it for yourself. Moreover, the application of this set is so easy that making a mistake is almost impossible. For body parts which you can reach on your own it’s even possible to do cupping completely by yourself.
What happens in the suction process of the cupping therapy?
This is where the magic healing happens. When you suck the skin all the toxins beneath the skin begin to mobilize which were stuck in the beginning.
These toxins are the reason for all your pains and diseases. And the older you are the more years come together in which these poisonous stuffs piled up through the years or even decades.
With this suction process you are able to bring them up to the surface of the skin.
In the case of muscle pain, you have the same effect. The sucking of the skin causes a release of the tension within the muscles. This again leads to alleviating pain.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) it is often the talk of the so-called meridians. These are energy pathways which have a tremendous effect on your well-being or malaise. By doing cupping therapy it is also said that the meridians are freed from blockages which would mean that the energy flow through the body can take place again so that the patient gets rid of his health complaints.
What kind of cupping therapy types do exist?
There are in principle just two kinds of cupping types. The dry cupping is the one which was described above. You just suck the skin with the cups or glases. Everything stays dry.
The other method is wet cupping. It is called wet because here you also suck off the blood in the upper region of the skin. To perform this, you first put on the cups on the aching body parts or on a meridian. Then you do a dry suction of the skin. This mere sucking alone produces a 10-minute anesthesia on the sucked skin area so any kind of pain caused by doing the next steps is noticeably reduced.
After this step you take off the cups and do something which sounds painful for most people which however is not the case: You begin to slit the sucked area slightly several times in a row with a scalpel or razor blade. Then you put on the cups again and repeat the suction just like before. The vacuum causes now blood in the skin to flow out. The blood however stays within the cup and cannot pour out if the cup sits firmly on the skin.
Keep in mind that this blood is different. It is not the blood from your veins but from the capillaries of your skin which cause the blockages. These blockages are the reason why the “normal” oxygen-rich blood cannot flow unhindered. Moreover, this sucked out blood is full of toxins and heavy metals. It has a much higher concentration of this bad stuff than in healthy blood.
If normal blood cannot flow freely throughout your body guess what happens. All your body parts and organs don’t get enough oxygen. And this undersupply of blood leads to all those known health problems like muscle pain, back pain, migrane, diabetes etc. Why? Because blood is the carrier of oxygen, minerals and vitamins. When these are missing in certain parts of your body, your body responds to it with malfunction and pain.
And exactly here is the secret of the wet cupping. You relieve the body from the blockages which are derive from the blood under the skin and restrain the flow of the healthy blood. This is reason why wet cupping is much more effective than dry cupping.
You can also use a lancet device to slit the skin which has the big advantage that you cannot cut the skin more than you should. However, the small holes in the skin are very small which leads to a fast closing. But if you act fast you can still pour out enough blood from the skin.
Another cupping type is to combine the dry cupping with a massage technique. Here it is important that you don’t suck the cups on the skin too much and also use a grease like olive oil which you rub on your skin. By doing this you can move the cups on the skin up- and downwards plus the healing effects of the olive oil can unfold on the skin.
This moving of the cups leads to a better blood circulation and thus to a pain relief.
You can also combine this massage part with the wet cupping. First the massage then the blood sucking.
Is the sucked blood different from normal blood?
Have you ever seen blood pouring out of your body? Sure, you have. So, you know how it looks like. The blood from the cupping process is different. It has a much darker appearance. Moreover, it also has a higher clotting time, within 15-30 seconds the sucked blood is clotted, whereas normal blood takes around 3-5 minutes. So, what’s the reason for those huge differences?
As laid out before the blood taken from the surface of your skin has a high concentration of toxins. For scientific reasons the following test was conducted:
Both sucked and normal blood was taken out from a patient’s arm and examined. The results were so shocking that one could believe those two blood types were taken from two different patients, namely from a healthy and a seriously sick one.
Where cholesterol values from the normal blood showed numbers of 200-220 mg, the sucked blood had values of unbelievable 1500-1800 mg.
Same thing was valid for the heavy metal concentrations. The normal blood had 2-3 µg and the blood from the cupping showed values of 35-50 µg, that’s around 20 times as high!
As you can see the diverseness between those two blood types cannot be greater.
Our body has the fascinating ability to filter toxins, to isolate one part or to deposit. This toxin depot can be found under our skin. Only through cupping it is easy and uncomplicated to get rid of those toxin cargos.
There is one very interesting report of Dr. Hasan Özcelik:
One of his patients had a high triglycerid (fats in blood) value of 578 mg. After having a cupping session this value has dropped to 321 mg immediately. However, normal values of triglycerid should not pass 150 mg.
Now the interesting part: After 3 months this value has reached the number of 131 mg. Keep in mind that this was achieved with just one cupping session!
High triglycerid values are dangerous and can lead to heart attacks and paralysis with symptoms of fatigue and tiredness.
When to do cupping therapy?
Normally, there are no limitations as to when to do the cupping. But there are certain times which have a better effect on your body and health than at other times.
These days are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Additionally, after the 15th of the moon calendar the odd numbered days (e.g. the 19th or 23rd) are recommended.
On these days the attractive force of the moon is much higher. This has the effect that more toxins in your body move to the surface of your skin. When doing the cupping these toxins can be removed much better and in a higher amount than on other days.
Another recommendation is to do the cupping early in the morning after sunrise. It is also important not to eat before having a cupping session. There are even experts saying that the effect of the cupping is almost not there anymore if you have eaten something before.
For the sake of completeness, it should also be said that in Islamic sources it is strongly forbidden to do cupping on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. On these days, only emergency cases are allowed.
Where to do cupping?
It’s possible to do cupping on every body part and on every area where pain is felt. However, there are some who say that doing cupping on the throat and on the front part of the head should be avoided.
Sometimes however, the localization of the pain is not easy or possible. In these cases, it is recommended to do cupping on some main cupping points (meridians).
If we talk about wide-spread chronic diseases like hypertension, migraine, allergies, asthma, then you have to do cupping on certain areas on the back and head.
Scientific Studies and Positive Effects of Cupping
You won’t find a lot of scientific studies which show the positive effects of cupping. This however is not a surprise. Studies are only done by certain companies who try to show their drug’s effectiveness. So, this is associated with spending a lot of money.
In the case of cupping therapy there is no company who has invented it, so why should they start a scientific study? To show the effectiveness of a treatment which they cannot sell? So, that’s why you won’t find those studies about treatments which don’t belong to anybody.
Nonetheless, you still can find some studies about cupping. One deals with the treatment of chronic neck pain. In August 2011 50 patients got a 5-time dry cupping session. This was completed within 2 weeks. The patients report significant improvements which you can read here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3224248
In a lot of studies you can find the effectiveness of cupping for shingles or also called herpes zoster, acne and facial paralysis: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3289625
The university of Essen-Duisburg in Germany could also verify the success of the cupping treatment for the carpal tunnel syndrome. More information regarding this: http://www.carstens-stiftung.de/artikel/schroepfen-klinische-wirksamkeit-erstmals-belegt.html
What you won’t find in these studies is the long-term effect of cupping. It is not uncommon that patients report a betterment of their complaints after several months.
I personally met some of those people. There was one guy who told me about his high blood pressure problem. He underwent 4 sessions of cupping therapy. Afterwards, he was freed from his hypertension pills.
Another person reports on getting rid of his knee pain after just one session. After some cupping sessions a patient was cured from his strong migraine attacks.
I also found another person who seems to be quite old in age, I guess around 70 years. This one was suffering from Parkinson. You can see in the video underneath how he faced a step-by-step improvement of his parkinson disease after undergoing several cupping sessions. Unfortunately, the video is in farsi but nonetheless you can see the development by just looking at the man’s situation:
Update: Unfortunately, this video was deleted.
In several forums I could also read about some women who could get rid of their cellulitis.
Even on TV I could discover an interesting case. In that talk show there was a woman who was plagued by a muscle and joint disease called fibromyalgia. This woman was in search for a cure for several years as living with that disease seemed to be almost impossible because of all the pain.
After several tries in modern medicine she found a TCM healer who had begun cupping treatments for around 6 months. Then she reached almost instantly and not gradually an improvement. This enabled her to live a normal life again. Can you see how long she endured before getting a significant relief? Sometimes you have to show a lot of patience before being healed because those kinds of diseases are the result of years of wrong life habits.
Cupping Side Effects
There are no noteworthy side effects of cupping. Some patients however can face a circulatory collapse. Especially those who cannot see any blood or those with low blood pressure.
Other minor side effects are that those areas where the blood was sucked are visible for 3-5 days. And those areas are also prone to itching which can also last for some days.
Personal experience with cupping
The first time I heard about cupping therapy was around 4 years ago. Before that time, I honestly never heard about that treatment before. When I heard about it I became very interested in it especially because I had suffered from a strange disease, which has not even a name yet. This disease causes a sudden rise in temperature to around 104 Fahrenheit (40 Celsius), hyperventilation and an indescribable feeling of torture.
Even when I had the disease and went (or better was brought) to hospital with a lot of examinations didn’t bring about any new findings.
So far I had this disease 5 times within a time frame of 9 years. Thank God it passes of after 1 day, at least the main part of the agony.
By all means I wanted to undergo cupping treatments because I had the assumption of suffering from a kind of heavy metal and/or toxins in my body.
3 months after the last disease attack I did wet cupping on 4 different areas performed by an cupping expert. After additional 5 months I did another wet cupping session but this time also behind the ears and on the back of my head.
The amount of blood which came from my head was shocking. In that one session the cupping glass was almost full two times consecutively. It’s difficult to believe that such an amount of blood can come out from such a thin skin.
But the question is, was I healed? I can only say that I never had this disease again. Additionally, colds only lasted 1-2 days. Allergies I had before, were much milder than before.
I also suffer from light back pain in the upper area. When I do dry cupping on myself an alleviation of pain can be observed immediately. However, the pain comes back again after a few days.
This shows that dry cupping is not enough. It would be better if I could undergo several wet cupping sessions for my back pain. Because only then all the toxins and heavy metals can be removed. It is not realistic to expect an immediate healing after just one session. We have to keep in mind that all these diseases are the result of several years even though some ailments can appear almost instantly.