The earliest pictorial record I have been able to find on cupping is in a carved relief of medical instruments used by the Egyptians around 1500 BC. Cupping vessels of contemporary design can be recognized in the lower corner of the relief.
Textual evidence on cupping can be found in the writings of Hippocrates (C.460-377 BC), known as the Father of Modern Medicine. During this golden era of the early Greek state, Hippocrates and his followers were devoted to an empiric approach to healing and sought naturalistic explanations for why people became ill. They thoroughly rejected causes like spirits or ghosts, and instead reasoned that poor diet, insufficient exercise, exposure to adverse weather, an unbalanced lifestyle and emotional factors were the chief agents of ill health. In his guide to clinical treatment, Hippocrates recommended cupping for the treatment of angina, menstrual irregularities and other disorders.
Cupping has been used for thousands of years by cultures including The Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Chinese. It is a healing modality that involves suctioning or vacuuming the superficial body along meridian lines with the purpose of drawing out toxins and heat, increasing blood flow, and promoting myofascial release. A partial vacuum is created in cups placed on the skin either by means of heat or suction. This draws up the underlying tissue and has been found to effect the body up to four inches deep. There are various ways to apply the cupping technique. The two most common are referred to as stationary and running cupping. Cups can be applied to the body and left stationary for 5-15 minutes, or oil may be used on the skin so that the cup can glide along the channels. Similar to Gua Sha, red to purplish petechiae may come to the surface depending on the amount of heat and stagnation in the area. Cupping is safe and comfortable, and people who have it done report greater range of motion and decreased tension afterwards.
If you are interested in this type of treatment, please contact our office. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Kunkle and see if this ancient treatment can help improve your experience and your whole body function.