This Therapy is an ancient Chinese form of alternative medicine in which a local suction is created on the skin; practitioners believe this mobilizes blood flow in order to promote healing. Suction is created using heat (fire) or mechanical devices (hand or electrical pumps).

Broadly speaking, there are two types of cupping: Dry cupping and Bleeding or Wet cupping (controlled bleeding) with wet cupping being more common. The British Cupping Society (BCS), an organization promoting the practice, teaches both. As a general rule, wet cupping provides a more “curative-treatment approach” to patient management whereas dry cupping appeals more to a “therapeutic and relaxation approach”. Preference varies with practitioners and cultures

Dry cupping

Bamboo cups

The cups can be various shapes including balls or bells, and may range in size from 1 to 3 inches (25 to 76 mm) across the opening. Plastic and glass are the most common materials used today, replacing the horn, pottery, bronze and bamboo cups used in earlier times. The low air pressure required may be created by heating the cup or the air inside it with an open flame or a bath in hot scented oils, then placing it against the skin. As the air inside the cup cools, it contracts and draws the skin slightly inside. Rubber cups are also available that squeeze the air out and adapt to uneven or bony surfaces.

In practice, cups are normally used only on softer tissue that can form a good seal with the edge of the cup. They may be used by themselves or placed over an acupuncture needle. Skin may be lubricated, allowing the cup to move across the skin slowly.

Cupping is claimed to treat a broad range of medical conditions such as blood disorders (anaemia, haemophilia), rheumatic diseases (arthritic joint and muscular conditions), fertility and gynaecological disorders, and skin problems (eczema, acne) and is claimed by proponents to help general physical and psychological well-being

Depending on the specific treatment, skin marking is common after the cups are removed. This may be a simple red ring that disappears quickly; the discoloration left by the cups is normally from bruising, especially if dragging the cups while suctioned from one place to another to break down muscle fiber. Usually treatments are not painful.

We at JOZ SALON & SPA introduce all the new techniques of Cupping and therefore recommend cupping for both (sub) acute and chronic lower back pain. It may be that cupping is more a traditional act of “faith healing” rather than an act of medicine.