The use of suction cups in Traditional Chinese Medicine Die Verwendung von Saugnäpfen in der Traditionellen Chinesischen Medizin El uso de ventosas en Medicina Tradicional China

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The use of suction cups in Traditional Chinese Medicine

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The use of suction cups in Traditional Chinese Medicine

The cupping is a therapy that is included in Traditional Chinese Medicine and is also popular in other parts of the world. This is one of the therapeutic methods applied in order to cause skin and tissue specific stimuli by producing a vacuum.

It is a useful technique in treating problems of the meridians due to stagnation of blood or Qi. It is also effective to eject the external pathogenic factors especially the wind and cold.

It consists of cupping, cups or glasses can be applied as a suction cup on certain acupuncture points on the body.

Traditional cups can be made of glass, bamboo, ceramic or clay.

The suction cups can be modern of plastic, suction pump with rubber bulb or magnetic. The modern apply suction through a vacuum pump or bulb. They are very practical. However, to implement the traditional suction is necessary to burn a cotton ball soaked with alcohol beforehand inside the cup. The oxygen combustion air creates a vacuum within the suction cup when placed on the skin makes it from sticking. This technique, in addition to exercising the effect of suction, is more effective because the heat of the fire helps the skin pores open and thus eliminate pathogenic factors.

How to use them?

The suction cups can be applied in various ways, can be left held or fixed, can quickly be removed and may move once implemented, can be shaken or rotated.
One option is to place the suction cups and leave them motionless on the skin between 10 and 15 minutes. Another option is to slide the suction cups in the back while holding the squeeze. To do this, before placing them, oil is applied on the skin to lubricate and facilitate movements. The second option is enjoyable as a massage, but sometimes with pain.
The use of cupping usually leaves circular marking on the skin that are bruises caused by suction. This indicates that blood and toxins to the skin have emerged. Do not worry as these markings will disappear within a week.


  • Leverage effect (inflammation external to remove an internal problem)
  • Muscle relaxant effect.
  • Analgesic effect.
  • Local hyperemia.
  • Elimination of external pathogenic factors, especially cold and wet.
  • Activating XUE circulation.
  • Cupping stimulates the metabolism.
  • Regulates the nervous system.
  • Increases the defenses.
  • Improves the tendons.


The cupping therapy has very broad applications, in general, both the diseases of internal medicine, such as the nervous or musculoskeletal system among others. For example, colds, cough, asthma, cellulitis, dysmenorrhea, facial paralysis, numbness of the limbs, snake bites, etc.

A little history ...

It is an ancient therapy, which records are located in various parts of the world, even our grandmothers used it frequently, in cases of colds or indigestion.

The cupping therapy has a long history in China dating back over 2000 years. It is a method created and developed by the workers forming part of the treatment of TCM. Data are ancient works, in the Jin Dynasty (265-420) and there is a work in which are detailed applications with this method.

Egyptians also used it, left a written record of its use and Hippocrates and Galen were defenders of its numerous benefits. In Europe and American physicians began to use it in the early nineteenth century and has since been confirmed clinically what had been observing: cupping brings many benefits to health.

The Arabic medicine have used it for thousands of years with records of many diseases treated, called "Hijhama." Even used on certain days of the month respecting lunar cycles for better therapeutic effects.

Source: TCM College

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Tags: acupuncture cupping suckers therapy traditional chinese medicine

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2 Reviews about The use of suction cups in Traditional Chinese Medicine
on 01/04/2015
I wonder if cupping has a more far-reaching influence outside of China, because when I was growing up one of my friend's family were emmigrants from Vietnam, and I remember very vividly that they used cupping techniques. That was actually the first time I was exposed to it, and she said they used it a lot.
on 01/04/2013
Hey, I asked my grandmother and she confirmed that she used this technique time ago and I was surprised, so it?s true, it has been used but now have lost its power, however, we should try and find out if it has good benefits, I?m going to find a place for this technique for my skin and varicose veins, I expect good results and my grandma told me it was perfect for this.

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