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7 Health Benefits of Cupping Therapy

Cupping therapy, also known as Hijama therapy in some Arabic cultures, is a fascinating alternative form of medicine that can be dated from about 5,000 years ago. It has many health benefits, without side effects like that of taking pharmaceutical pills. Learn more about how cupping therapy works and the benefits of this form of therapy.

How Cupping Therapy Works

The basic idea behind cupping therapy is to place cups on the patient’s skin to create a vacuum to form negative pressure, which draws blood to the surface of the skin in specific parts of the body that needs healing. In Chinese medicine, cups are used on specific acupuncture points or used along different meridians. Acupuncture is penetrative to the skin, whereas cupping therapy focuses on the skin's surface.

Acupuncture points

The negative pressure of cupping can squeeze out a large number of air bubbles which reinforces gas exchange in the local tissues. It can open pores to promote the detoxification process and the function of white blood cells which increase the immunity.

The marks that appear on the surface of the skin after cupping is “old blood” which is low in oxygen and high in toxic chemicals, instead of newly generated blood.


3 Types of Cups Used for Cupping Therapy

The different cups used are vacuum, glass and silicon. Vacuum cups use a small air pump to pump the air out of the cups to cause suction. Alternatively, silicon cups are used by squeezing the air out of the cup by hand to create suction. Practitioners use the glass cups by placing a burning cotton ball in the cup to create suction and warmth.