This is one of the oldest manual therapies in Chinese medicine, with recorded use dating back to early fourth century.
Thick glass or plastic cups are most commonly used today, however originally practitioners used animal horns, bamboo, and iron or pottery cups to perform cupping on patients.
Glass cups require a small flame to remove the oxygen inside and to create suction needed to anchor the cup to the skin. The soothing warmth of the cups aids the circulation of qi and blood in the body and has a relaxing effect on the patient.
Plastic cups do not require fire, instead when the cup is placed over the skin a ?pump mechanism is used to create suction.
The partial vacuum generated causes the pores to open and creates an outlet for toxins to be released.
Traditional Chinese medicine schools teach this modality as an integral part of this system of medicine. Its applications in respiratory illness are broad, which makes it an excellent choice of therapy during Canada’s long and cold winters, and to clear the effects of air contamination in the city of Toronto.
Cupping is most commonly used in the treatment of respiratory conditions, including: asthma, cough, bronchitis, as well as rheumatic conditions, gastrointestinal disorders and some types of pain.
The action of cupping causes capillaries to break near the surface of the skin resulting in painless bruises that fade a few days after the treatment was performed.