Is cupping good for health?

Modern medicine may always be seen as the best treatment for most ailments and diseases. However, the existence of ancient medicine should make you wonder why some people still practise this kind of medicine in the current world. There could be many health benefits that have been vowed or researched that makes certain medicine practices of the past still relevant in our modern world. One of them is cupping. In this DoctorOnCall’s article, we will be learning more about cupping and is it good for health.

Cupping therapy is an alternative medicine of the ancient people where special cups made of glass, plastic, bamboo or ceramic are placed on the skin for a few minutes to create suction. In the modern world, cups may be made with silicone instead. Cups can be placed on the back, shoulders, stomach, legs or any muscle group that is easy to be attached to. There are many types of cupping therapy but there are two main types: dry cupping using a pumping method to create suction inside the cup while in wet cupping similar to dry cupping but is added with light and small cuts are made to the skin to drain small amounts of blood.

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Cupping therapy might seem new to some people especially in the Western world but it dates back to ancient Egyptian, Chinese and Middle Eastern cultures. In short, it is one of the oldest therapies dated back to 1550 B.C. There are a lot of health benefits making cupping good for health. Below are only some of the health benefits from the long list that could be obtained:

1)  Good for muscle relaxation.

2)  Aid with back and neck pain.

3)  Alleviate pain regarding the nerve such as those with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or facial paralysis.

4)  Enhance blood circulation to remove toxins and waste from the body.

5)  Boost the body immune system.

6)  Improve pain control in the brain to increase a person’s pain threshold.

7)  Helps to reduce bad cholesterol such as LDL and total cholesterol in the body which act as a protecting agent against cardiovascular diseases.

8)  Reduction of blood sugar in patients with diabetes.

9)  Improve skin conditions such as acne and cellulitis.

10)  Effective for headache and migraine.

11)  Help patients with hypertension to control blood pressure.

12)  Relieve pain in those with rheumatoid arthritis or knee arthritis.

There are so many health benefits that can be gained from cupping. However, just as with other therapy, there are always possible side effects. Common side effects include circular marks from the cups, skin discoloration of the site of the treatment, skin irritation and lightheadedness. Scarring and infection may occur from wet cupping therapy. Pain and mild comfort may be expected after cupping.

Many of the health benefits may not be properly explained in scientific terms or in established scientific papers. One thing for sure is cupping is considered safe as long as the side effect does not extend beyond serious problems and for those who do not mind the circular discoloration that fades in days or weeks to come.

In essence, cupping does promise numerous health benefits and is able to treat certain health conditions. It is important to talk with your healthcare provider before undergoing any alternative medicine if you are already diagnosed with medical issues. Remember that cupping therapy should act as complementary and should not be replacing your current treatment. It is best to understand what cupping can do for you and to make sure the cupping therapist knows what they are doing by making sure they are certified and practising safe hygienic measures.

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