Cupping, An Ancient form of Healing

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Cupping on my back. Quite alien looking…

Wow!  Who knew.  I always say that I am continually learning about new ways to heal and maintain health naturally.  Yesterday, as I was visiting an Eastern Medicine herbalist whose father and grandfather both worked in the Chinese herbal medicine trade, the herbalist – Julianne, recommended trying cupping (the owner/cupping masseuse incidentally worked across the street – nothing like business partnerships) and I decided to give it a try after she expressed surprise I had not heard of this.  Of course, I do not watch TV and as she mentioned celebrities who had it done, I quickly realized that of course I was not aware of it unless I had researched it separately as I do not care a bit for celebrities nor what they do; they are just people just like you and I only they chose a profession that makes them famous.  Still, it seemed to make sense and I gave it a try; apparently, you have to go for several sessions and the darker color the circles are (ranging from light raspberry, to strawberry, to Blackberry) the more toxins you have stored in your muscles that are being released.

Cupping is apparently an ancient tradition mainly used in Asian cultures but also as far east as Russia (and in ancient BC times in Egypt and with the Taoist culture, 300 AD) and is thought to raise toxins, lymphocytes, and impurities from the depth of 4 inches into our muscles onto the surface of your skin, releasing the muscle area previously stagnated to now freely receive fresh blood/circulation.  It is thought to mainly cure respiratory illnesses but has proven to be helpful for many more including anemia, digestion function, metabolism, nervous system diseases and female reproductive anatomy reproductive issues.

Here is a video uploaded in China showing the process…  The verdict is out but it seems to make sense to withdraw the impurities/toxins/debris from you system so that new blood can enter the muscles.  I was told before by my community acupuncturist that I have stagnant Liver therefore this just might assist as well as the fact that I learned I need to eat more warming foods.  Cupping warms the whole body by improving blood flow.


Small glass or bamboo jars are placed on the skin after a flame is lighted within it after alcohol has been swabbed on the rim after which the skin is “sucked” into the glass jars, almost looking like golf balls under the skin.  Incorrectly, many people associate the spots with bruises, but a bruise is damage to capillaries below the skin while cupping “suctions” the capillaries/skin, bringing forth the toxic blood previously stored deeply in the muscle tissues (all over the body).  Overall, cupping encourages more blood flow, loosens muscles, and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system that results in a very relaxing feeling.  Further, like acupuncture, cupping follows the meridian guidelines on the body and strives to open the energy channels that previously have been stagnated in order to increase chi (energy) throughout the body.  Our bodies are built upon energy and in Western Culture, it is known as ATP that originates from mitochondria.

Arriving for my weekly acupuncture appointment that Wednesday following my “cupping” appointment, I questioned my acupuncturist on his opinion on “cupping” (in addition to acupuncture) for increasing circulation, etc., he told me that in my “deficient” case, cupping could do more harm than good.  Perhaps it is better for respiratory illnesses it was initially designed for and not something that would assist myself with achieving a balanced blood, spleen/kidney/heart/Liver as I didn’t note any difference in my health or how I felt afterwards (although you need several sessions).

Ah, life is but an experiment it seems; many doctors in the Ayurvedic, Eastern Medicine, Functional, and Conventional medical fields advise on what they think would help you, but in the end, it comes down to what actually works for your body.  Since your spirit lives in this body, you of course are the best sources of advice for what works and what doesn’t; we just need a helping hand from others and research conducted by ourselves comparing natural remedies.



   Cupping Therapy. (n.d.). Cupping Therapy. Kidney Failure.  Retrieved from      therapy-basic/

Rushall, C. (September, 2014). The Many Benefits of Chinese Cupping. Pacific College of Oriental Medicine.  Retrieved from  




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