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Cupping Therapy


Medicine is intuitive.
Those who are proficient at using intention are good doctors.
Sun Simiao (581 A.D. 618 A.D.)

Cupping Therapy – Huaguan Therapy

Cupping therapy (Huaguan) is an important therapeutic adjunct to classical acupuncture. The use of cupping in China can be traced back to 1000 B.C. and was officially documented by Ge Hong (283 A.D. – 343 A.D.), a Taoist monk and medical herbalist in his Handbook of Prescriptions for Emergencies: Zhou Hou Jiu Zu Fana.

In the West, archaeological records indicate that the ancient Egyptians had recorded cupping in the Ebers papyrus, the oldest medical text in the world, as early as 1550 B.C. The Egyptians passed this therapeutic modality on to the ancient Greeks. Hippocrates, the father of modern western medicine, prescribed cupping for musculoskeletal issues, lung ailments and gynecological disorders.

The ancient Greeks passed the therapy on to the Persians and Arabs. Cupping was even sanctioned by the prophet Mohammed. Today, cupping is an important part of Unami medicine, which is taught at several universities in India.

There is a tremendous resurgence of this ancient therapeutic art in the West. Celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Justin Bieber, Samuel L. Jackson, winner of 22 gold medals Michael Phelps, tennis super star Serena Williams are all strong advocates of this ancient therapy.

Even the prime minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, is an adept of cupping as confirmed by the National Post (April 2017) and Prime Minister Trudeau’s press secretary Andrée-Lyn Hotte.

The therapeutic benefits of cupping include:

  • Regulation of blood pressure

  • Relief from pain – musculoskeletal pain as well as headache and migraine

  • Reduction of inflammation

  • Regulation of neurotransmitters

  • Reduction of blood stasis

  • Stimulation of the immune system

  • Relief of toxic cellular buildup

  • Improvement of respiratory function

  • Reduction of intensity of allergic episodes

  • Break up of adhesions

  • Improvement of blood flow to underlying tissues

  • Strengthening of connective tissue

  • Reduction of fatigue

  • Improvement of cervical spondylitis

  • Improvement of facial paralysis

  • Reduction of cellulite

  • Improvement of skin health

Cupping therapy

For cupping to be accepted by the medical community, more controlled studies are definitely needed. In 2016, Leonid Kalichman, senior lecturer at the Ben Gurian University of Negev in Israel, co-authored a commentary in the “Journal of Body Work and Movement” where he stated that cupping should be included in the arsenal of musculoskeletal medicine.
Cupping is an integral part of Chinese Medicine, and has been used by millions of people on all continents for thousands of years. Hopefully, science will eventually catch up and confirm what acupuncture, Unami practitioners, and multitude of other holistic practitioners have known since 1550 B.C.

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