Cupping, or also known as Bekam in Malay language, is an ancient form of alternative medicine in which a local suction is created on the skin. It dates back to ancient Egyptian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern cultures. One of the oldest medical textbooks in the world, the Ebers Papyrus, describes how the ancient Egyptians were using cupping therapy in 1,550 B.C.
Cupping therapy follows the five meridian lines on the back, and these are where the cups are usually placed. By targeting the meridian channels, cupping strives to ‘open’ these channels – the paths through which life energy flows freely throughout the body, through all tissues and organs, thus providing a smoother and more free-flowing qi (life force). Cupping is one of the best deep-tissue therapies available. It is thought to affect tissues up to four inches deep from the external skin. Toxins can be released, blockages can be cleared, and veins and arteries can be refreshed within these four inches of affected materials.
Michael Phelps’ visible Cupping Marks on Rio 2016 Olympic
At TJF, we require all our patients to purchase their own cupping set for hygienic reasons. We practice wet cupping, where tiny pricks are made in combination with the suction process, to allow toxins to be removed via blood-letting.
A 2012 report published in the Journal PLoS ONE reviewed 135 studies on cupping therapies published between 1992 and 2010. Researchers concluded that cupping is more than just a placebo effect — it has benefits similar to acupuncture or herbal treatments for treating various digestive, skin, hormonal and inflammatory diseases.
Cupping therapy can treat a variety of conditions safely, including: