Home > Chinese Culture > Chinese Fire Cupping

Chinese Fire Cupping
date: 2018.01.12

Cupping astounds some Western people. When they see the big round red “hickeys” on people or when they see it being done, they wonder what is going on? The interesting technique is akin to the other traditional medical techniques in that the practitioner is attempting to manipulate the various qi, Yin and Yang, or body fluids to influence health.
Does it work? The verdict on this is yet out: Western doctors generally don't recognize cupping as beneficial compared to Western medicine. Here's information on cupping's history, methods, and general acceptance in modern times.
Could It Have Originated in the West?
People practiced fire cupping in Europe, Asia and Africa for thousands of years. It isn't clearly a Chinese invention. The Ebers Papyrus that is one of the oldest medical textbooks in the world describes that in 1550 B.C. the Egyptians used cupping. In ancient Greece, Hippocrates (~400 BC) prescribed cupping for diseases. This method in multiple forms spread throughout Asian and European societies.
In more recent times, it was even popular in the 1700s in Western Europe, and it is still done following the traditional European style in some Eastern European countries. It was also recommended by Mohamed. In Islamic countries, cupping is often associated with blood-letting to draw blood out. It is a common treatment in the Islamic world.
Western cupping is different than Chinese cupping, and it isn't clear that it was a method adopted from abroad. Instead of putting fire inside the cup, in the West people may heat the cup with a flame or warm object held outside the cup. However, the effect is the same in that the blood and skin are pulled up. Western cupping doesn't use the Chinese system of acupuncture points.
When Did It Appear in the East?
Archaeologists have found jars that might have been used for fire cupping about 1000 BC that is the time of the end of the Shang Dynastyera (1600 - 1046 BC) and the beginning of the Zhou Dynasty (1046-221BC) era.
However, the first written text describing cupping as a medical procedure is thought to be a text that was written after the Han Dynastyera (206 BC-220 AD) by Ge Hong called A Handbook of Pres*tions for Emergencies. The book text dates to about 300 AD, and this is much later than the earliest Western texts. Since written treatises about cupping predate Chinese records, maybe people adopted the technique from the West.
The Chinese Cupping Method
In China, cupping is used for high Yang issues such as bronchitis, coughs and colds. The Chinese think that these symptoms mean that there is too much Yang in the body. Through the fire cupping treatment or modern methods of applying suction to the skin such as by using suction pumps, they generally believe that some of the Yang factor can be removed so that the Yin and Yang balance can be restored.
However, there isn't total agreement as to why the procedure should work. There are differing theories about qi and how it functions. A more modern idea about Chinese cupping is that it removes pathogens or toxins that tend to accumulate just under or on the skin.

iamchina PC | china | i am china | this is china | china news | china abc | chinese culture | travel china | china guide

This is a portal to introducing Chinese culture, Chinese history, China's tourist guide, and the current situation in China

© 2017-2020 iamchina.com -- Discovery China . Contact us admin@iamchina.com