According to the best TCM clinic in Singapore, TCM principles, creating a vacuum using suction cups is said to enhance the flow of qi, the “life energy” that circulates throughout our bodies.
The suction ruptures microscopic blood vessels beneath the skin, initiating the body’s self-healing process, enhancing circulation and lymphatic movement, and eliminating pollutants.
According to TCM, cupping stimulates the flow of qi, the vital energy or “life force” that runs throughout our bodies.
TCM practitioners believe that when our qi is interrupt or disturbed, “blockages” or imbalances can develop in the body. The objective of cupping is to eliminate these obstructions and restore the flow of this important energy.
How cupping works
First, a vacuum is establish within the cup by either burning the oxygen inside a glass cup or sucking the air out of the top of a plastic cup, according to Hong Kong-based TCM practitioner Master Ruth Lee.
The low pressure inside the cup encourages the free passage of qi and blood through the body’s meridians. This mechanism helps the elimination of pollutants and finally restores the body’s equilibrium.
Lee believes that cupping is less invasive
The suction effect ruptures the microscopic blood vessels beneath the skin, causing a faint discoloration.
When the brain detects signs of this little damage, it initiates the body’s self-healing process, increasing blood circulation, enhancing lymphatic flow, and the discharge of accumulated fluid.
“When paired with acupuncture or tui na massage, cupping is effective in enhancing the flow of qi,” adds Lee. Even foot massage establishments now offer cupping as an add-on service.
Different types of cupping
According to Dr., a TCM practitioner at Health Wise Chinese Medicine Consultancy in Hong Kong’s Central area, there are several varieties of cupping.
Dry or fire cupping includes the use of a flame to produce a negative pressure within the cup, which is then place on the skin for three to fifteen minutes. This style is the most prevalent in Chinese medical facilities.
Today, a hand-held pump may be use to produce the vacuum; some practitioners also employ silicon press cups.
The second kind, known as wet or bleeding cupping, involves three steps: first, the practitioner generates a slight suction by leaving the cups on the skin for three minutes. The skin is then prick with a plum blossom needle or a needle with a triangular point.
The cup is press to the skin a second time to withdraw a small amount of “toxic” blood
Move or slide cupping includes placing the cup to the skin and then carefully sliding it in one direction over a specified location.
Empty cupping, in which the cups are withdrawn from the skin immediately after suction, is another form of cupping that can be use.
Needle cupping, which involves acupuncture follow by the application of the cups over the needles; medicinal or herbal cupping, which uses bamboo cups that have been boil with herbs; and water cupping, which involves filling a glass. Bamboo cup with one-third warm water and quickly applying it to the skin.
A concise history of cupping
The first records of cupping were discover.
The Mawangdui Silk Texts, an ancient book written on silk that was unearth in 1973 in a tomb going back to China’s Han era (202BC-220AD).
The practice of cupping treatment dates back to the early Jin dynasty physician Ge Hong, a renowned herbalist, and alchemist who flourished between 283 and 343 A.D.
Lee explains that cups were construct of bull horns or bamboo as oppose to glass or plastic nowadays.
These cups were use to extract pus or poisons from the wounds of patients. They produced suction by drawing air from the horn or by boiling bamboo cups.
After the Industrial Revolution, when glass and plastic cups were introduced, cupping became more accessible.