Cupping is one of the oldest known treatment for multiple illness. Throughout history, cupping techniques and styles have often resembled the geographic locations they were practiced in, as well as utilizing a region’s local materials: animal horns, bamboo, ceramic, glass, metal, and plastic have all been used in this practice found in Ancient Egyptian, Chinese, Unani, Korean, Tibetan, and Latin American cultures, all of which have served the purpose of supporting the body’s ability to heal itself. In North Africa, cupping therapy was first documented on Eber’s papyrus (1550 BCE), where a cup is the Egyptian glyph to reference a physician. In Asia, during the Jin dynasty, Ge Hong (281-341 CE) mentions the use of animal horns as a means of draining fluids from the body. Also it has been popular in Greek bronze era where they used the bronze cups.
In Arabic and Islamic countries, cups (Hijama) are recommended in the Al-Qanun Fi’l-Tibb, Canon of Medicine (1025CE), to treat menstrual conditions. Prophet Muhammed is reported to have been a user and also advocated about it.
According to Galen, the principle of indication for blood lenting is to eliminate residues or divert blood from one part to another.
In Chinese medicine, cupping and other similar therapies follow the Daoist model of holism. Holism is the philosophy that systems and their properties must be viewed together, not just as a collection of parts. Daoists contended that no single being or human could exist unless they are seen in relation to nature, as an extension of the universe and as such are impacted by natural phenomenon, such as the seasons and climate, as well as by internal states, such as emotional stress. Disease, according to this concept, is the result of climate, emotions, and/or trauma that create imbalance in the body.
Since Chinese medicinal researchers focus on observable principles of balance examined in living bodies, their traditional medicine practices are considered “alternative” by the dominant medical systems, despite having been practiced for centuries in cultures and countries around the world.
Alternative medicine is defined as “the promotion or use of practices which are unproven, disproven, impossible to prove, or excessively harmful in relation to their effect.” Unfortunately, medicine, particularly Western allopathic medicine, has been viewed solely from an epistemological framework. This framework establishes a theory of knowledge that distinguishes justified belief from opinion. Therefore, evidence-based medicine has been the adopted mode used, predominantly relying on anatomical dissection over any other form of inference or methodology in determining a diagnosis and/or treatment.
Modern Cupping as western based cupping uses the plastic, silicon or glass cups with a vacuum seal to influence the myofascial tissue physiology.