Cupping therapy is a traditional method employed over the years to treat various pain-related conditions. It is done by placing cups on specific areas of the skin, most often in the back, to create sub-atmospheric zones in pressure. It is classified as a dry or wet therapy. The mechanism behind its operation needs to be better identified. However, several possible mechanisms are presented in the research literature. It is generally safe, but there are some reported side adverse effects, such as skin inflammation and scar formation. This article will provide a comprehensive review of research to assess its potential advantages in treating pain, particularly musculoskeletal disorders like low back and neck pain.
Cupping therapy is a traditional technique used to treat various pain ailments over the years. It involves applying cups to specific skin points, usually in the back, to create sub-atmospheric zones in pressure. It is classified as a dry or wet therapy. The mechanism behind its operation needs to be better identified. However, several theories are discussed in the research literature. It is generally safe, with only a few reported adverse consequences, including scar formation and skin infections. This article will provide an overview of the research to assess its potential advantages for pain relief, especially for musculoskeletal disorders like low neck and back pain.
- cupping therapy
- chronic pain
- free treatments
- lower back lower back
- Pain management
Cupping therapy is among the oldest complementary therapies utilized throughout the early days of human civilization. Evidence suggests that it was used by Ancient Egyptians more than 5500 years ago. It then was introduced to Greek and the Romans and the majority of the world 11. The primary purpose of this method is the elimination of toxic substances or toxins from the body by generating negative pressure inside cups 22. Cupping was defined in the work of Razi as a method where blood circulating through the small vessels in the superficial layer of muscles is released 33. It has traditionally been utilized to treat pain, but it is also employed to treat chronic ailments like cardiovascular diseases as well as skin disorders as well as inflammatory disorders and metabolic diseases 4, 5]., 55. The exact mechanism behind its action has yet to be fully understood. However, several theories have been proposed 66.
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The procedure involves placing small, round cups that consist of bamboo, glass, or even plastic at the site of discomfort. The cup is rolled around its rim to ensure that it is in that the skin is kept in contact to keep the pressure that is created 77. Its mouth can be set securely in the face. This negative pressure can be created through heat or other vacuums, such as manual pumps. The negative pressure holds the skin onto the cup and causes a suction effect that draws the skin upwards into the cup. Sometimes, the therapist employs oils to ease the movement of the cups in order to cover a larger space. The cups cover a larger area 88. The most commonly used sites for application include the chest, back abdominal, buttock, and muscle areas that are abundant. Typically, cupping therapy is carried out in groups of six, four, or 10 99. The cups are typically placed in a position for 5 to 20 minutes 66. Common side effects of cupping therapy include edema, erythema, and ecchymosis on the area where the cup’s rim is placed. The effects can take anywhere from days or weeks to fade to disappear 4., 10 The cupping therapy process is characterized by edema, and erythema. The cupping treatment process generally is comprised of the following five significant steps:
- The therapist determines and disinfects the area to be used for cupping therapy.
- A cup of the right size is placed on the desired location, and the therapist employs suction techniques to draw air into the cup. The cup is left in the area for 3 to 5 minutes. If the cupping is wet and the skin is dry, superficial cuts are made to the skin using scalpel blades (No. 15-21) and by puncturing skin using needles, an auto-lancing device, or a plum blossom needle 1111.
- The cup is placed onto the surface for 3 to 5 minutes.
- The cup is then removed.
- The affected area will be cleaned and disinfected, and then a dressing is put on. The dressing will usually be left for 48 hours after the treatment session.
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The exact mechanism behind the cupping therapy’s action has yet to be understood fully; several theories have been suggested. Six different mechanisms in action were proposed to explain the different outcomes of the therapy. The three theories address the mechanical and biological basis of the relief from pain that results from cupping. These theories are the pain-gate controlled pain modulation and the reflex zone. The three other theories of action are designed to explain the positive effects of cupping therapies, which include the improvement of blood circulation in the body, immune modulatory effects, and the elimination of toxins and wastes 66. The three theories that are connected to pain relief will be discussed in this section.