Cupping Therapy – Is it worth it?


Cupping therapy, also known as Hijama, is a traditional Chinese and Middle-Eastern medicinal practice for muscle healing to alleviate conditions like inflammation, pain relief and general well-being. In this therapy, the practitioners put a special cup on the skin and create suction. But does this cupping therapy or Hijama really work?

Types of Cupping

During both types of cupping, your therapist will put a flammable substance such as alcohol, herbs, or paper in a cup and set it on fire.

  • Dry: On dry cupping, after the fire goes out, the cup is inverted and placed on the skin, creating a vacuum that causes the skin to rise and redden and open up the blood vessels. The cup is kept in place for about 3 minutes.
  • Wet: Whereas in wet cupping, after the first suction, the therapist will remove the cups and make small cuts on the skin, and create a second suction which causes a little blood to draw out.

Benefits of Cupping Therapy

Cupping therapy practitioners believe that wet cupping helps remove toxins from the body, helps in healing and also consider that cupping therapy can be used to treat various diseases like:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Varicose veins
  • Treats migraines, anxiety and depression
  • Skin issues like Eczema
  • Anxiety and depression

What does the research say?

Not many studies are available to back the various claims and benefits of cupping therapy. However, a report was published in 2012 in which Australian and Chinese researchers reviewed different papers on cupping. They concluded that there appears to be biased in the existing research literature. However, cupping along with a combination of other therapies and medication may help in facial paralysis, acne, and cervical spondylosis.

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