So-called “cupping“ is a divertive treatment and plays an important role in TCM. This curative approach is part of stimulation therapy and is applied to treat a range of conditions. It has an effect not only on the respective skin areas but on organs and the entire organism.
TCM maintains that certain areas of skin (acupuncture points) are connected to specific organs via neural connections along the meridians.
As a special type of stimulation therapy, cupping allows these connections to be activated and to be used for curative effects.
During a cupping session, specially designed cups are put on the skin to create suction, whereby circulation in the tissue beneath is mobilized.
Different ways to apply the treatment include:
- bloody cupping: here, a small incision is made in the respective skin area beforehand.
- dry cupping: The skin remains unscathed.
- cupping massage: The skin is oiled before the session, and the cups are moved around on the skin.
Effects and areas of application of cupping
- it activates the metabolism of the cell.
- it improves microcirculation in the blood and lymph vessels.
- local, reactive, and pathological lymph blockages drain and the tonus of the muscles beneath is reduced.
- stimulation of the neural ends and local stimulation of circulation.
- via cutaneous-visceral reflex lines, it can have an effect on afflicted organs (cf. the research results of Head and McKenzie).
- stimulation of the immune system, analgesic effect.
- through the intentional stimulation of an acupuncture point, it influences inner organs and function circles.
- it can relieve local oversaturation syndromes.
- it drains pathogenous factors from the body.
Indications and disease patterns
In the following, you can find a couple of examples for diseases which are commonly treated by cupping:
- internal diseases (asthma bronchiale, diarrhea, obstipation, irritable colon, acid reflux, gastritis)
- disorders and diseases of the muscoskeletal system (cervical syndrome, dorsalgia, lumbalgia, impingement syndrome, frozen shoulder)
- psychosomatic diseases (exhaustion, sleep disorders, psycho-vegetative stress syndrome)
- gynecological diseases, menstrual pain, obstetrics
- children’s and infants‘ diseases (bronchitis, asthma bronchiale)