Manage episode 332663284 series 3365587
The cupping therapy has been used in China for thousands of years. The cupping therapy in its primitive form using cattle horn was used primarily to withdraw pus and blood in the treatment of boils. Cupping was then used as an auxiliary method in traditional Chinese surgery, and in time developed into a special therapeutic method.
The earliest records of cupping in ancient China was found written in Bo Shu 帛书 ancient book written on silk. The text were buried 186 BC in Ma wang dui 马王堆 tomb. Through several thousand years of accumulated clinical experience, the clinical applications of cupping have become increasingly wide. During the Qing dynasty 清代 (1644-1911), the original natural horn cup has been replaced by bamboo, ceramic or glass cups. Because cupping is traditionally used in China, the technique has been inherited by the modern Chinese TCM doctors.
The ancient Egyptians were the first to use cupping therapy systematically. Ebers Papyrus, the oldest medical textbook 1550 BC, describes bleeding by cupping in order to “remove the foreign matter from the body”. Hippocrates and Galen were also great advocates of cupping. In the early days the technique was used solely for bleeding purposes.
In the book of Galen (c. 129-200 AD) on Bloodletting, disease and health are defined in terms of nature. “Disease is an unnatural state of the body”, states Galen, “which impairs a function. Health is a state in accordance with nature, and the cause of the functions”. Here we can see the similarities to the cause of disease and the theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM): disease occurs as a result of imbalance between the Yin and the Yang.
Galen states that: “The nature does its best to restore unnatural states to their healthy condition. The function of the Physician is to cooperate with her. The principal indication for Bloodletting, then, is to eliminate such residues or to divert blood from one part to another by the process known as Revulsion or Derivation”.
For thousands of years all medical authors have distinguished two forms of cupping, Dry and Wet. In Dry cupping no blood is actually removed from the body. A cup is drained of air and applied to the skin, causing the skin to swell. In Wet cupping the process begins with dry cupping and is followed by several incisions being made in the skin, in order to collect blood. Among the Egyptians, who introduced bloodletting to Greece, cupping was the usual remedy for almost every disorder, and they no doubt had received it from the more ancient nations of the East, from whom they had derived their other knowledge. In many cases, topical abstraction of blood alone is indicated, and this can only be effected by using leeches or cupping. Leeches have been found so uncertain in their application that various means have been prescribed to make them more effective.
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