In ancient times, cupping was performed with hollow animal horns and was used to treat a variety of ailments, such as boils, lesions, snakebites or infected insect bites. The therapy is believed to pull toxins from the body and enhance healthy blood circulation through the suction effect of the cups. Today, cupping is still performed to produce the same results. Over time, cupping has evolved to the use of glass cups, which are better able to withstand the heating process.
Today, cupping therapy is used in different ways depending on the country. In China, for example, cupping therapy is used to draw the blood in the body away from the main site of the surgery in an effort to reduce bleeding and possible complications. In Eastern tradition, cupping is also used alongside beliefs in the body’s meridians or specific sites of energies. According to these Eastern traditions, there are 12 meridians in the human body and cupping can be used in each specific meridian to treat different ailments specific to that area. In Europe and North America, cupping treatment has been used to treat conditions like chest infections, respiratory congestion, and colds.
A variety of types of cupping exist. These include dry cupping, wet cupping and massage cupping. Several other advantages of cupping include increased circulation to muscles, improving the provision of oxygen to muscles, and loosening knots in the muscle.