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History of Cupping Therapy

Cupping therapy, has been used in China for thousands of years. At first, cupping therapy was applied using cattle horn and consequently was also called ‘horn therapy’. The earliest cupping therapy instruments were hollowed horns or gourds with a small hole at the top, through which the practitioner (cupper) could suck out the blood from incisions previously made by a knife. The Arabs called these small vessels ‘pumpkins’, to indicate that they were frequently applied to a part of the body in which the organs contained air, or that they were vessels that had to be evacuated before they could be applied.

As far as safety was concerned, the length of the horn would be the only protection afforded to the practitioner.

Initially, it was used only as a part of traditional Chinese surgery. Later it was found to be effective in other diseases and developed into a special therapeutic approach. The earliest records of cupping are in Bo Shu, an ancient book that originated from China.

There is also a very popular saying in China, ‘Acupuncture and cupping therapy, more than half of the ills cured.

The ancient Egyptians were the first to use cupping therapy systematically. Incisions, with Cupping therapy, possesses the power of:

1. Evacuating offending matter from the head,
2 Diminishing Pain of the same part,
3. Lessening inflammation
4. Restoration of appetite
5. Strengthening a weak stomach
6. Removal of vertigo
7. Lowering tendency to faint
8. Drawing deep-seated offending matter towards the surface
9. Drying up fluxions
10.Checking haemorrhages
11.Promoting menstrual evacuations
12. Arresting the tendency to putrefaction in fevers
13. Allaying rigors
14. Accelerating and moderating the crisis of diseases
15. Removing a propensity to somnolence
16. Conciliating natural repose
17. Removing heaviness,
and many analogous maladies, are relieved by the judicious application of the Cucurbits (Cups), dry or bloody.

If in case, Inflammation in a part has hardened, the doctor’s problems are multiplied, and local cooling remedies are used; hence the extreme importance in the ancient system of initially keeping the body free from residue.
To eliminate such residues or to divert blood from one part to another by the process known as Revulsion or Derivation.’ The advantage of bloodletting over other forms of haemorrhage is that the doctor can stop the flow whenever he wishes.

A doctor’s task is made difficult, however, because individual patients differ greatly in their healthy and diseased states. Some are by nature cold, and hence more liable to conditions such as dropsy than to fevers; others are Hot.

Cupping Horn Therapy
Cupping Horn Therapy

‘Cupping is an Art’ -London Copper Samuel Bayfield

After thousands of years, all medical authors have distinguished two forms of cupping, Dry and Wet. In Dry cupping, no blood is actually removed from the body. A cup is drained of air and applied to the skin, causing the skin to tumefy (swell).
In Wet cupping, the process begins with dry cupping and is followed by several incisions being made in the skin, in order along the blood continues to flow after their removal. Three methods have been proposed to encourage blood to the skin surface when there is a sluggish flow: friction, fomentation, and warm baths. The most particularly recommend.

This was a brief history of how cupping therapy was originated and how it developed over the years. Hope that you loved reading this and if you can add more things please let us know in the comments.

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