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5 Things That Happen To Your Body When You Try Cupping, According To Science


Cupping is an ancient medical practice that many may consider outdated and obsolete. However, this perception is far from the truth, considering the fact that this technique still remains a relevant and widely-used practice which has many health benefits.

It is true that technique involved in cupping seems to be on the opposite side of the spectrum of what modern medicine represents nowadays, and this is the main reason why most find it hard to connect it to something relevant and useful.

However, scientists have long researched the effects of this ancient practice only to find that it, in fact, comes with proven therapeutic effects and can actually help heal the sick. Of course, trying cupping by yourself comes with risks of infection, injury, and doing more harm than good.

Cupping is best done by a professional and the International Cupping Therapy Association (ICTA) provides an international list of trained therapists whom you can contact and make an appointment.

And what is cupping useful for? The ICTA states that it is especially useful for relieving inflammation, deep tissue stimulation, promoting the flow of lymphatic fluid to stimulate the immune system, increasing blood supply to the skin, encouraging circulation, stretching muscle and connective tissue, loosening scar tissue adhesions, and stimulating the flow of QI energy.

Scientific research in this field supports these claims, giving account to the 5 most effective ways cupping helps the body.


A study which focused on the therapeutic benefits of Al-hijamah, a wet-cupping technique, found that the therapy “may be a promising treatment for increasing immunity of the human body, potentiating pharmacological effects of modern drugs and clearing blood from pathological substances causing and related to pathogenesis of many diseases.”

The team found that cupping therapy helped the immune system to gain a considerable increase in function (156%) in combination with conventional pharmacological treatment, and a 133% increase when there was no drug therapy involved.


The research team also found that cupping therapy helped the patients involved in the study to experience a reduction in the intensity of chronic pain. After a month of treatment with cupping, the participants reported a 34% decrease in pain, 40% after two months, and a staggering 59% decrease in pain after three months of therapy.

The pain that was observed was that caused by rheumatoid arthritis, and the team believes that the same benefits can be observed in other types of chronic pain as well.


Cupping works on multiple bodily systems at once, giving it a larger area of effect on the body. In the case of the common viral and bacterial illnesses, such as influenza, viral hepatitis, herpes, acne, dermatitis, and cellulitis, the technique has been shown to work in a way which triggers the immune system to increase the production of interferons, while also increasing the flow of lymphatic fluid.

Both of these are important factors in the increase of the body’s defenses against viruses and bacteria.


The study reports another fascinating find regarding the effect of cupping on the rates of cardiovascular diseases. Namely, the team observed a reduction in systolic hypertension, vascular leg blood clots, heart failure, myocardial ischemia and arrhythmia, and even myocardial infarction or heart attack instances.


In a joint study between the Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences in Iran and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA, researchers found that cupping works excellently against tension and migraine headache.

As they explain, patients who underwent wet cupping treatment 3 times over a 28-day period reported a 66% decrease in headache severity. Which is more, the treated patients experienced “the equivalent of 12,6 fewer days of headache per month,” explains the team.

So, if you’ve been having second thoughts as to whether you should try cupping or not, know that it is not in vain still present after thousands of years. However, make sure you have it done by a professional. Experimenting with this practice may end with unwanted consequences and it’s highly advised against.

Copyright: hedgehog / 123RF Stock Photo

Mary Wright


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