I’ve been back from my cupping class for a couple weeks now and I’ve been practicing on anyone and everyone! So far, the reviews are pretty good! For the most part, people are really curious about what cupping actually is, where it got started and how it can help. Honestly, I had those same questions and so I thought I would blog about cupping over the next couple of months!
Cupping has actually been around for thousands of years! It claims to be one of the oldest and most globally practiced medical treatment in human history! Ancient healers used it to purge evil spirits, which were often seen as the primary cause of disease. The Egyptians popularized cupping dating back some 3,500 years ago, where its use is seen repeatedly throughout hieroglyphic records. The Chinese contribute cupping therapy as the backbone of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). This is a class I took in school where I first learned cupping. What is unique about the TCM is that they believe cupping dispels stagnation of the blood and Chi (your life force, essence or energy) along with external pathogenic factors that invade a weekend constitution. This will often progress into a weekend immune system.
So when did cupping come to the Americas? The indigenous tribes were already using hollowed out animal horns as devices to drain toxins out of snakebites, infections and skin lesions. It was said that when George Washington was on his deathbed, cupping was one of the treatments used. But since he died anyway, it lost merit.
Western Medicine came into play by the late 1800’s and a more advanced scientific model of medical procedures emerged. Since cupping was considered “Folk Medicine” the Westernized Medical Community discredited all nonconforming and previously established traditional therapies and therefore, the use of cupping significantly declined. However, over the last several decades, the tide has turned as the general public has become more educated regarding their options for effective health care. We are discovering that maybe some of those ancient healing practices actually have extensive merit. People are searching for more natural, holistic medical approaches, which is why the complementary and alternative health community has developed a renewed interest in cupping therapy. Yay for us!
Did that peak your interest in cupping? I hope so! Stay tuned for next month when I talk about the different kinds of cupping and why it leaves those funny marks! As always, thanks for reading!