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The Benefits of Cupping Therapy

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

cupping

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  • Cupping is an ancient medical treatment, its Chinese roots dating back thousands of years. Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Middle Eastern cultures also have ancient records of the practice
  • In cupping, suction cups of varying sizes are attached to the body. The suction draws stagnant blood to the surface of the skin and improves blood circulation through the tissues, which can speed healing
  • Research has found cupping may benefit conditions such as chronic neck and shoulder pain, arthritis of the knee, herpes zoster, facial paralysis and cervical spondylosis
  • So-called “wet cupping” may be beneficial for the treatment of chronic acne, persistent low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, acute soft tissue injury and a variety of headaches. Combined with herbal remedies, wet cupping may improve acute gouty arthritis
  • Cupping has gained popularity among athletes for its benefits on pain and sports performance

Cupping is an ancient medical treatment, its Chinese roots dating back thousands of years. Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Middle Eastern cultures also have ancient records of the practice, including Saudi Arabia, where the practice is called Al-Hijamah.

According to a 2010 review of the medical literature published in the BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine journal, cupping was established as an official therapeutic practice in Chinese hospitals after its clinical efficacy was confirmed by a joint team of researchers from China and the former Soviet Union in the 1950s, and it’s a standard practice in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to this day.


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