Fire Cupping

Fire Cupping
Fire Cupping


In ancient times, “Cupping” known as the “horn method”, or the “fire cup” involved burning materials to form a vacuum within a cup, which was then placed on the skin. The build-up of negative pressure pulls the skin into the cup leading to a therapeutic effect on tissue in the area. Cupping often leads to bruising which is an indication of blood congestion below the surface of the skin.

Cupping in diagnosis

Testing the degree of bleeding tendency: If slight bleeding occurs over the cupping area, it may indicate some pathological changes in the capillaries. Cupping can induce a measles rash to appear more readily then it might have otherwise.

Testing edema: When edema is difficult to detect with the naked eye, cupping can easily produce blisters. 

The Mechanism of Cupping

The mechanism behind cupping is not well understood, and at present there is no definite data available. According to current research, it can be divided in two areas generalized and localized.

Localized: During cupping the area receives a form of heat therapy, which increases blood circulation, metabolic rate and nutrition. The bruising causes an alteration in osmotic pressure, increased lymphatic circulation and a strengthening of the system which defends against inflammation in the muscle tissue.

Generalized: Due to the increase in the permeability of blood capillaries, which produce local bruising, it may induce self-hematolysis. This provides a mild degree of stimulation to the capillary system, which passes through the sensory nerves to the cortex.

Cupping is a system that is still in wide use in Asia and here in the US. Common uses are; muscle skeletal pain, cold and flu, headaches, low back pain, digestive pain and discomfort and much more.…