Cupping is a healing practice that extends across various cultures and religions, from the ancient Greek and Egyptians to modern civilisations. In Islam it is called hijama. It involves suction cups being placed strategically along the meridians to create a small area of low pressure above the skin and is primarily used to remove toxins, boost immunity , alleviate the stagnation of blood and qi, improving the patient’s overall state of health and vitality.
There are various forms of cupping:
· Dry cupping: dry cupping is the most common form of cupping. A plastic suction cup with a mechanical pump is utilised, allowing a practitioner to easily control the application of pressure.
· Fire cupping: fire cupping is the traditional method of cupping. Tiny cotton balls are soaked in an accelerant, such as surgical spirits or alcohol. They are then set alight and used to burn the oxygen out of a glass cup. Suction is then created when the flame is removed and oxygen rushes back into the cups.
· Slide cupping: slide cupping is predominantly used on the back along the bladder meridian, but may also be used on other areas. Massage oil is applied topically along the meridians, followed by either a plastic (dry cupping) or glass cup (fire cupping) with a low suction pressure, allowing the cups to slide along the skin without causing any abrasions or discomfort to the patient.
· Flash cupping: flash cupping is done using either dry or fire cupping. Cups are applied and removed in rapid succession, repeated several times.
· Wet cupping: tiny superficial incisions are made on the skin and glass cups are placed over the affected area. This form of cupping is very effective at overcoming blood and qi stagnation.
*** Wet Cupping should only be performed by medical professionals.