What is Cupping?

So you’ve all heard of this mysterious cupping, or maybe in conversation you’ve heard me raving about it.  Some famous folks like Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps allowed the world to see publicly what we do in our clinics with this mysterious cupping, and it probably looked scary (similar to Gua Sha if you read my other entry).  In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we are trained in multiple types of therapies like this, not just acupuncture, and we generally use them only when they are indicated – which means that if it’s not appropriate for you, then we don’t do it (which is great for you!  “Do no harm” is hopefully in your health care practitioner’s first line of integrity).  However, I do cup a majority of my patients, even if it’s not “indicated” that they have a great need for it.  Why is that?  And what is cupping really anyway?

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