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 resurfaced to regain popularity in the modern world.
What is less well known is that cupping also played an important role in early European medicine. Cupping was introduced to the western world from Egypt.
The Ebers papyrus from 1550 BC. BC mentions cupping to remove foreign bodies from the body.
When Anthony and Kamila were in Egypt, they were also fortunate to find images of cupping as therapy alongside ancient hieroglyphs on ancient ruins. The image attached to this blog was actually taken by Anthony from these revealing images.
From Egypt, the therapy of cupping, for both medicinal and cosmetic purposes, spread to Greece, where both Galen and Hippocrates were strong proponents of its use.
Herodotus’ writings from 413 BC confirm the widespread therapeutic use of cupping in a passage in which he describes that “cupping has the power to remove offending matter from the head, to relieve pain…”.
From that point on, cupping remained popular in Europe until the early 20th century. The last recorded writing on this that we have yet discovered in the West is by the surgeon Charles Kennedy, who wrote in 1826 and said the art of cupping was well known at the time.
With the advent of modern pharmaceutical medicine, cupping for therapeutic purposes gradually lost its popularity.
It’s now enjoying a resurgence thanks to people’s renewed interest in natural, holistic, non-invasive forms of health and beauty treatments.
This renewed interest was aided by improvements to the mugs themselves. Originally made from bamboo in ancient China, most cups used up to the late 90’s were made of glass and the suction was created by flame. This worked well in the clinic, but wasn’t very safe at home.
As a result, plastic cups with a pump mechanism became popular for a short time and finally, in recent years, high-quality silicone cupping systems have developed that are more effective and easier to use.
With this simple pressure and release system, cupping can now once again spread worldwide as a gentle but effective therapeutic and cosmetic treatment.
If you want to learn more about it modern silicone cups please follow this link.