Cupping has been practiced in the Far East and particularly in China for at least 2,000 years, and it is from China that this therapy has reemerged to once again gain popularity in the modern world.
What less people know is that cupping also played an important role in early European medicine. Cupping was introduced to the Western world from Egypt.
Dating back to 1550BC the Ebers Papyrus mentions cupping for removing foreign matter from the body.
When in Egypt Anthony and Kamila were also fortunate enough to find images of cupping as a therapy inscribed on ancient ruins along side ancient hieroglyphics. The image attached with this blog was actually taken by Anthony of these revealing images.
From Egypt the therapy of cupping for both medical and cosmetic use spread to Greece where both Galens and Hippocrates were strong advocates of its use.
Herodotus writing in 413BC confirms the widespread use of cupping therapeutically in a paragraph where he describes ‘cupping possess the power of evacuating offending matter from the head, of diminishing pain,…..’
From this point cupping remained popular until the beginning of the 20th century in Europe. The last recorded writing about it we have so far discovered in the West was by the surgeon Charles Kennedy who was writing in 1826 and described the art of cupping as extremely well known at the time.
Cupping for therapeutic use gradually lost popularity with the rise of modern pharmaceutical based medicine.
It is now making a resurgence thanks to people renewed interest in natural holistic non invasive forms of health and beauty treatments.
This renewed interest has been assisted by improvements in the cups themselves. Originally made of bamboo in ancient China most cups used until the late 90s were made of glass and the suction was created by flame. This worked fine in clinic but was not very safe at home.
Following this plastic cups with pump mechanisms briefly became popular and finally in recent years high quality silicon cupping systems have developed which are more effective and easier to use.
Now with this simple squeeze and release system cupping can once again spread across the world as a gentle but effective therapeutic and cosmetic treatment.
If you would like to learn more about modern silicon cups please follow this link.