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Cupping Therapy - Know How It Works!

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Maajid Ali 90% (535 ratings)
Bachelor of Unani Medicine and Surgery (B.U.M.S)
Ayurvedic Doctor, Akola  •  17 years experience
Cupping Therapy - Know How It Works!

The Hijama or Cupping Therapy is an ancient form of Alternative medicine that has long been practiced in Egypt, China, and few Middle Eastern countries. The cupping therapy work wonders to deal with problems ranging from body pain, skin lesions to inflammation. It also plays a significant role in improving the circulation and blood flow. But what is the Cupping Therapy and how does it work? In this article, we will discuss some important points related to the cupping therapy along with its merits.

What is a cupping therapy?

A Cupping Therapy is a non-invasive procedure that involves the use specially designed cups (made of silicone, bamboo, glass, or earthenware) placed on the target skin area to create a vacuum or a suction to help treat a particular health condition.

What happens in a cupping therapy?

The cupping therapy can be Dry or Wet

  1. In both the types, before using the cup, the cupping therapist uses a flammable substance such as herbs or alcohol (placed inside the cup) and sets it on fire. With the fire slowly going off, the therapist carefully puts the hot cup in the target area of the skin in an inverted (upside down) position (for around 3 minutes). This is done to create a suction inside the cup triggering an expansion of the blood vessels. Alternatively, a rubber pump can also be used to create a suction.
  2. In Wet cupping therapy, the steps involved in creating the first suction (generally a mild one) is identical to those used in Dry Cupping. However, in wet cupping, following the first suction, small incisions or scratches are made in the target skin area. During the second section, it is through these cuts that the elimination of the toxic or impure blood takes place.
  3. Soon after the therapy, the cuts are well bandaged along with the application of medicated creams or lotions to ensure a fast healing sans any complications.
  4. For better lubrication and movement of the cups, the therapist may apply a herbal or medicated oil to the skin.
  5. Some people may also opt for Needle Cupping. As indicative of the name, needle cupping involves the use of Acupuncture needles (inserted into the skin over which the cups are then placed to carry out the suction and the subsequent therapy).

Merits of a cupping therapy

  1. The cupping therapy is a nonsurgical therapy that can be used to treat many health complications such as high blood pressure, varicose veins, gynecological problems (including infertility), anemia, dermatological conditions (such as eczema and acne), fibromyalgia, migraines, arthritis, hemophilia, to name a few.
  2. The cupping therapy ensures a better pain management.
  3. It works wonders in the case of stress and anxiety.
  4. The cupping therapy goes a long way to restore the balance between the three Doshas.
  5. It comes with negligible side effects (light bruises, mild burns, or minor skin infections).
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult a specialist & get answers to your questions!
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