Cupping is an ancient technique that is still used in many countries throughout Europe. In this technique, glass bowls or cups are applied by creating a vacuum. A lighted taper is placed quickly in the cup and removed before the cup is positioned. The vacuum in the cup causes suction on the skin, gently drawing out any blockages of Qi, Blood or Pathogens.


Cupping is used primarily for 3 main reasons:

 To move Qi

 To move Blood

 To expel External Pathogenic Factors


To explain these terms; Qi and Blood can become stagnant in the body which create symptoms at the site of the stagnation such as pain, swelling and discolouration of the skin. These are commonly found in arthritic conditions, back and knee pain and abdominal/ digestive conditions.


Cupping is used to cause the Qi and Blood to flow freely removing the block and hence the symptoms. It will temporarily leave a red or purple circular mark, the colour denoting if it is Qi (red) or Blood (Purple) stagnation, but this fades after a few days.


External Pathogenic Factors are described as Wind, Cold or Damp in Chinese medicine, describing what we call colds, flu, allergies and skin conditions. These can be drawn out using cupping, the patient being advised after the cupping to wrap up warmly as they will sweat out the Pathogen that has caused the symptoms.





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