“Where there’s stagnation, there will be pain. Remove the stagnation, and the pain vanishes”

Cupping is an ancient form of alternative therapies that has stood the test of time. The great herbalist, Ge Hong was considered as the first person to mention cupping in his book “Handbook of Prescriptions”. The word cupping also appeared in Ebers Papyrus, the Egyptian oldest medical reference, and fathers of Medicine such as Avicennna and Hippocrates recommended it in their works.

Celebrities and highly respected personalities have also extolled the virtues of this enviable practice. Notable among them include Michael Phelps, the 28th time Olympic gold-medalist, Jennifer Anniston, Gwyneth Paltrow, Victoria Beckham and David Arquette. Cupping is not a fad; it is a procedure with evidenced-based curative and preventative benefits. This article seeks to expose you to the enormous reasons why you should embrace this therapy.

Cupping therapy involves the use of special cups to create suctions on the skin. These cups may be made of glass, silicone, bamboo or earthenware. Just like what operates in the acupuncture parlance, a cupping therapist takes time to determine cupping points for specific diseases. The points are numbered numerically and scattered around the body. After determining the cupping point, cups are placed on the skin and a vacuum is created on the skin using a manual device.

The vacuum enables the skin to be drawn into the cup. Vacuum is either made by eating the cup or cooling the air inside the cup.  The cups are left on the skin for an average of 5-15 minutes. This is followed by light piercing on the skin to release the toxins. These toxins have been identified as dead cells, fat deposits, disease-causing pathogens and other metabolic wastes otherwise called free radicals. The piercing is made with a clean and highly sterilized sharp object which may be a surgical blade or razor blade.


Historically, cupping therapy has been used to treat a wide array of diseases especially pain, headache and musculoskeletal diseases. It also helps to boost immunity and treat a host of blood-related abnormalities. During a cupping session, dead cells are removed from the body and thus, stagnation which account for the onset of many diseases is avoided. Research has shown that the body produces new cells after every 120 days and cupping remains the single most effective ways to free the body of these dead cells.

Athletes and sportsmen will benefit immensely from cupping therapy owing to its healing effects on the muscles. Muscle stiffness, cervical spondylosis, numbness, poor circulation and related issues could be adequately treated with cupping therapy. The role of cupping in dermatology is also very impeccable. Conditions such as acne, psoriasis, pimples and other skin conditions can be improved after few sessions of cupping therapy. Essentially, it helps to soften tight muscles, loosen adhesions and lift connective tissues.

The British Cupping Society enumerated a number of health issues that respond positively to cupping therapy. The list  include, but not limited to hypertension, arthritis, fibromyalgia, gynaecological disorders, bronchial congestion, sciatica, varicose veins, anaemia and haemophilia. Additionally, there have been numerous evidences affirming the role of cupping in anxiety, depression, weight loss and insomnia.


A plethora of evidences have confirmed that cupping works in numerous ways especially in helping to open up the meridians of the body. Meridians are often used in Chinese Medicine to mean the conduits in the body that energy flows to every part of the body, including organs and tissues. It is essential to get cupped from a certified cupping therapist. The therapist must have been trained to examine you critically before commencing a cupping session with you. Cupping is not suitable for those with low blood platelets and those under critical health issues. There are misconceptions surrounding cupping therapy, the quintessential therapist will free your mind from those misrepresentation.

Member of The British Council For Complementary Therapies (MITBCCT)

Member, Nigerian Council of Physicians of Natural Medicine (NCPNM)

Member, The Open International University for Complimentary Medicines

Copyright © OIHM 2019. All rights reserved.