The therapy of fire cupping has been utilized by the Chinese for thousands of years, but its origins can be traced back as far the ancient Egyptians in the third century BCE. It has even been said that Hippocrates and Galen were great advocates of cupping. Early recordings describe creating a partial vacuum in animal horns, bamboo tubes, or clay pots, and then applying them to the skin of an individual. The negative pressure created caused the underlying tissue to be pulled into the cup, resulting in an increase of blood flow to the area. This therapy was used to treat a wide range of ailments and was even used in emergency medical situations.
Most recently, cupping popularity peaked after many witnessed Michael Phelps in the Rio Olympics with these large circular looking marks on his back. If the most decorated Olympian of all time, with 28 medals, was finding benefit from this treatment, everyone figured that there must be something to it. Many news outlets started researching its history and found that it had roots in various civilizations and cultures, and even had modern medical terminology used to describe it as “myofascial decompression release”. Regardless of when and where it truly started, cupping is and has always been an integral part of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, and we do our best here at The Root Acupuncture clinic to continue those traditions.