Early records of cupping come from Ge Hong, a Taoist alchemist and herbalist in 300 A.D.  This ancient therapy uses cups to increase blood flow and promote healing.   

Typically, the cup is warmed using a cotton ball soaked in alcohol.  It is then lit and placed inside the cup.  The burning material rises to the surface and removes all the oxygen inside the cup, creating a vacume.  As the material is burning, the cup is placed upside down over a specific area.  The lack of oxygen attaches the cup to the skin and pulls skin and superficial muscle into the cup.  Drawing the skin up opens pores, stimulates blood flow and allows the Qi to flow freely.  Obstructions are broken down and toxins are drawn out of the body.

The cups are left on the body 5 to 10 minutes.  Several cups may be used at once.   The practitioner may apply oil to the skin before the cupping procedure to allow the cups to slide along specific acupoints and meridians.

Cupping is used to assist in many treatments.  Massage therapy, lymphatic drainage, TMJ, sinus congestion, and detoxification are just a few.  Cupping is considered relatively safe, but does cause bruising and swelling.  This often results in circular bruises where the cups were applied.  It is not recommended for inflamed skin, for people who bleed easily, or pregnant women. 


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