Cupping (Vasopneumatic Devices) Treatment

Cupping is a 3,000 year old technique of applying a cup to the skin surface to draw blood and energy to the surface point where it is applied. In Chinese medicine, where there is stagnation of blood or Qi (energy), there is pain. Cups are attached by creating a partial vacuum, usually by heat, which are then applied to the skin to draw up the underlying tissues. These cups pull stagnation from within the body and bring it to the surface where it can dissipate. Through the years, materials such as bamboo, ceramic, iron and brass have been used, with glass or bamboo cups being the most common now. Today, cupping is used primarily for the treatment of muscular and joint pain, as in the case of arthritis or low back pain.

What Cupping is Used For

Functionally, cupping is used to warm and promote the free flow of Qi and blood in the meridians, dispel cold dampness and diminish swelling and pain. Clinically, cupping is used to treat Bi-syndromes (arthritis) caused by wind dampness such as pain in the low back, shoulders and leg; gastrointestinal disorders such as stomachache, vomiting and diarrhea; and lung diseases such as cough and asthma. Although cupping is not painful, it may leave marks that resemble bruises on the cupped area. These marks are painless and will disappear after a few days.

Type of Jars

There are a great variety of jars, but the commonly used clinically varieties are as follows:


1) Bamboo jar:

Cut down a section of bamboo 3-7cm in diameter and 8-10cm in length, forming a cylinder shaped as a drum. One end is used as the bottom, and the other as the opening. The rim of the jar is light, economical, easy to make and available in many places.?

2) Glass cup:

Since the glass cup is transparent, the local congestion at the site for moxibustion can be seen so as to control the treatment.

3) Biomagnetic cupping set:

These cups have the advantage of traditional cups, but without the use fire. The cups’ transparency allows the practitioner the ability to see the progression taking place inside the cup as time increases. It’s easy to manage the outcome effects of the negative pressure inside the cup with the hand pump and judge the optimal cupping time needed for each client’s respective condition.


The cupping method has the function of warming and promoting the free flow of qi and blood in the meridians, dispelling cold dampness, diminishing swellings and pains. In clinics, the cupping method is mainly used to treat Bi syndrome caused by wind dampness, such as pain of the low back, shoulder, and leg, gastrointestinal disorders such as stomachache, vomiting, and diarrhea, and lung diseases such as cough and asthma. The cupping method combined with bloodletting is suitable to treat acute sprains accompanied by blood stasis. The animal horn was used to dispel pus. Along with continual development in clinical practice, the materials for making jars and the methods have been greatly improved. The range of indications has been expanded, since this method is simple and the therapeutic effect is good. This therapy was attracted with great attention and applied in a large scale by the broad masses, and also used as an auxiliary method of acupuncture and moxibustion.

Skin Reaction? Afterwards and Corresponding Organs




Cupping Therapy