An ancient form of alternative medicine, cupping dates back thousands of years, having been used within ancient Chinese, Middle Eastern and Egyptian cultures. Cupping therapy is said to help reduce pain and inflammation, increasing blood flow and relaxation, working as a kind of deep tissue massage. There are various cupping methods used, including wet and dry cupping, using cups made of glass, bamboo, earthenware or silicon.
How does it work? The cupping therapist places a flammable substance in the cup, such as herbs, paper or alcohol, and then sets it on fire. Putting the fire out, the therapist then places the cup upside-down on the skin. As the air cools inside the cup, it creates a vacuum, drawing the skin up, causing it to rise and redden as the blood vessels expand. The cup will usually be left in place for up to three minutes. An alternative method involves using a rubber pump to create the vacuum, instead of using fire.
As for wet cupping, this involves making small incisions after the cup has been removed, to then place a second cup down to draw out impurities. Needle cupping is another option, where the therapist places acupuncture needles on the skin, before place the cup over the top.
Cupping At Home
Is it a good idea to try cupping at home? As with any alternative medicine, it's generally best to let an expert do the work. However, for those who know what they're doing, there are acupuncture cupping sets for at-home cupping. Cupping sets offer cups in various sizes, with more traditional sets and vacuum sets available. Take a look at the various options on offer on eBay to find a range of acupuncture supplies and stimulator acupuncture supplies , including cupping sets.