Cupping (V)

3 Styles of Cupping

Cupping is not unique to Chinese Medicine but most acupuncturists learn about it as part of their training. In this video we demonstrate the “pump up” style of cupping and the traditional “fire cupping” technique and also using oil and sliding the cups around.

Safety: Cupping is generally quite safe but the following should be observed:

  • Cupping often makes marks, sometimes red and sometimes purple, these can take up to a week to go away. Warn patients about this and do not leave cups on too long.
  • When cupping with oil it is best not to use nut oils, some people have allergies to nuts.
  • Take care with fire cupping, be especially aware of the fact that the lighted splint could light hair or flammable clothing
  • Do not use cupping (except when using a special “flash cupping” technique) on people who are very weak or depleted.
  • Do not cup over wounds, broken skin, active moles or highly sensitive areas.

Cupping has two main uses, expelling pathogens and promoting the movement of Qi. It is often used at the onset of a cold to help the lungs to expell a pathogen before it penetrates deeper into the body. Cupping also helps to break up phlegm in the lungs and promote movement and clearing. So it will relieve stiff muscles and stuck blood and Qi. It is useful for stiff backs, stiff necks, stiff shoulders etc. Some people believe it is also an effective treatment for cellulite on the legs