the history of cuppingCupping is a form of natural therapy that involves placing plastic or glass cups on the skin and creating suction using either heat (fire) or a mechanical device (manual or electrical pumps). It is clinically proven to facilitate the natural healing process, relieve muscular pain, increase blood flow and in some cases, help with insomnia. Cupping has come into the spotlight in recent years after photos of American swimming star Michael Phelps (with cupping marks) went viral on social media, but in reality cupping has been used for more than 3000 years. Recently, there has been growing evidence of its benefits in the treatment of various issues, So, what’s the history of cupping, where did it come from and why is it still being used today. 

History of Cupping

Cupping therapy may have gained more popularity in recent years and may seem like just another trend, but it’s certainly not new, it has been an integral part of healthcare in many ancient cultures in one form or another. There is plenty of documented evidence suggesting that cupping was practiced widely in early Egyptian, Chinese and Middle Eastern cultures. The techniques and styles used in ancient times were often due to the geographic location they were practiced in, utilising locally available materials such as bamboo, animal horns, bones, nuts, seashells, and gourds. Ancient practitioners used cupping as a method for purging bites, infections, pustules, and skin lesions from the body. Some believed it could draw evil spirits out of the human body. There is still a lot of ambiguity as to who is the pioneer of this ancient practice, some historians believe ancient Egyptians were the pioneers, while others regard the Chinese as the inventors of cupping. 

Why Is Cupping Still Being Used Today?

For many people cupping is regarded as a detoxifying treatment, however evidence shows that it’s main effect is stretching and lengthening the muscles and other tissues, thus reducing pain and dysfunction. From Jennifer Aniston to Denise Richard, celebs all over the world are proud to display their marked backs. So, what’s all the rage about? What’s making people adopt this ancient Chinese medicine once again?

Cupping has numerous benefits. Following are a few of the basic benefits associated with cupping:

  • Stretches and lengthens muscles and other tissues
  • enhances blood circulation
  • accelerates healing
  • increases lymph flow
  • pain relief
  • reduces inflammation and swelling
  • relaxes the body and mind

Keeping in mind the long history of cupping therapy, the trust that so many athletes and celebs alike have shown and the proven benefits it’s no wonder this ancient modality has re-emerged as an effective treatment option for many issues we face in the modern world.