The therapy of cupping has been used in China for thousands of years. At first it was applied using cattle horns or cross sections of bamboo. To create negative pressure inside the horn or bamboo these ancient ‘cups’ were boiled in water or fire was ignited to expel the air and suck the cups onto the skin. These cups were used mostly to draw out pus and blood in the treatment of boils. Cupping was originally used as an auxiliary method in traditional Chinese surgery. Later it was found to be useful in treating other diseases and developed into a special therapeutic method.

The earliest record of cupping is in the Bo Shu , which was discovered in a tomb of the Han Dynasty. Several other ancient texts mention Chinese medicine cupping. Several centuries later another famous medical classic, Su Sen Liang Fang, recorded an effective cure for chronic cough and the successful treatment of poisonous snake bites using cupping therapy.

Through several thousand years of accumulated clinical experience, the clinical applications of cupping have become increasingly wide. Now Chinese medicine cupping is used to treat arthritic symptoms, asthma, the common cold, chronic cough, indigestion problems and some skin conditions.

There is a saying in China, “Acupuncture and cupping, more than half of the ills cured.” Zhao Xue Ming, a doctor practicing more than 200 years ago, compiled a book entitled Ben Cong Gang Mu She Yi, in which he describes in detail the history and origin of different kinds of cupping and cup shapes, functions and applications.

In mainland China the development of cupping therapy has been rapid. In the 1950’s the clinical efficacy of cupping was confirmed by the co-research of China and acupuncturists from the former Soviet Union, and was established as an official therapeutic practice in hospitals all over China.

Today, as more people seek alternative therapies to deal with their health problems, the use of traditional Chinese medicine, including cupping is increasing. Cupping affects the flow of Qi and blood. It helps draw out and eliminate pathogenic factors such as wind, cold, damp and heat. Cupping also moves Qi and Blood and opens the pores of the skin, thus precipitating the removal of pathogens through the skin itself.

Ramona uses glass or plastic suction cups to soften and stimulate tissues. This is a non-needle treatment.

cupping history from Academy of Classical Oriental Sciences

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