What Is Cupping?
Cupping therapy is usually used as part of acupuncture or body work treatment.
Cupping therapy involves heating the air inside a glass cup, which removes some of the air from the cup. The cup is then quickly placed on the skin, and the resulting vacuum pulls the skin part of the way into the cup. The cup may be left in place for several minutes and then removed, leaving behind a bright red, circular welt. The theory behind cupping is that it moves or stimulates the body's natural energy - also called qi.
Quick GuideAcupuncture: Alternative Treatment for Pain and Other Conditions
- Acupuncture has been shown to be effective for the treatment of nausea and vomiting in adults following surgery or taking chemotherapy and post-operative dental pain.
- Acupuncture may be effective in treating a number of other conditions.
- More research is needed to define more precisely the role of acupuncture in health care.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a component of the health care system of China that can be traced back at least 2,500 years. The general theory of acupuncture is based on the premise that there are patterns of energy flow (Qi) through the body that are essential for health. Disruptions of this flow are believed to be responsible for disease. Acupuncture may, it has been theorized, correct imbalances of flow at identifiable points close to the skin.
The practice of acupuncture to treat identifiable pathophysiological (disease) conditions in American medicine was rare until the visit of President Richard M. Nixon to China in 1972. Since that time, there has been an explosion of interest in the United States and Europe in the application of the technique of acupuncture to Western medicine.
Acupuncture is a family of procedures involving stimulation of anatomical locations on or in the skin by a variety of techniques. There are a variety of approaches to diagnosis and treatment in American acupuncture that incorporate medical traditions from China, Japan, Korea, and other countries. The most thoroughly studied mechanism of stimulation of acupuncture points employs penetration of the skin by thin, solid, metallic needles, which are manipulated manually or by electrical stimulation.
Are there standards for acupuncture needles?
After reviewing the existing body of knowledge, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) removed acupuncture needles from the category of "experimental medical devices." The FDA now regulates acupuncture needles, just as it does other devices such as surgical scalpels and hypodermic syringes, under good manufacturing practices and single-use standards of sterility.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/4/2016