Cupping – a form of alternative therapy that is believed to have originated from China, involves placing cups on the skin and creating suction using either heat (fire) or a mechanical device (manual or electrical pumps). It is believed and clinically proven in many human trials that cupping facilitates the natural healing process, soothes muscular pain, increases blood flow and in some cases, can help with insomnia. Cupping came into the limelight in recent years when photos of American swimming star Michael Phelps (with cupping marks) went viral on the social media, but in reality this therapy has been used for more than 3000 years. Recently, there has been growing evidence of its potential benefits in the treatment of various issues, Let’s trace back the history of cupping and find out where it came from and why is it still being used today.
History of Cupping
Cupping therapy may have gained more popularity in recent years and may seem like just another trend, but it is certainly not a new, it has been an integral part of healthcare in many ancient cultures in one form or another. There is plenty of documented evidence suggesting that cupping was practiced widely in early Egyptian, Chinese and Middle Eastern cultures. The techniques and styles used in ancient times often resembled the geographic location they were practiced in, utilising locally available materials such as bamboo, animal horns, bones, nuts, seashells, and gourds. Ancient preactitioners used cupping as a method for purging bites, infections, pustules, and skin lesions from the body. Some used it as a means to draw evil spirits out of the human body. There is still a lot of ambiguity as to who is the pioneer of this ancient practice, some historians suggest ancient Egyptians be the pioneers of this practice while other regard the Chinese as the inventors of cupping.
Why Is Cupping Still Being Used Today?
For some people cupping is regarded as a detoxifying treatment and an effective pain-relieving therapy. From Jennifer Aniston to Denise Richard, celebs all over the world are proudly display their marked backs. So, what is all the rage about? What’s making people (including so many celebs) adopt this ancient Chinese medicine once again?
Cupping has numerous benefits. Following are a few of the basic benefits associated with cupping:
- enhances blood circulation
- accelerates healing
- increases lymph flow
- offers instant pain relief
- reduces inflammation and swelling
- relaxes the body and mind
Keeping in mind the long history of cupping therapy and the trust that so many athletes and celebs alike have shown, no wonder this ancient modality has re-emerged again as an effective treatment option for many illnesses we face today.
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