Cupping is a therapy in which a jar (cup) is attached to the surface of the skin using suction. This suction is caused by the introduction of a negative pressure using an ignited material to heat the air within the jar. As the air cools suction is created within the the cup, causing the patient’s skin to be pulled into it. This vacuum causes local congestion to be moved to the surface of the body. Moving blood and/or energy that may be stuck in a particular area of the body allows healing to occur. By moving what is stuck new energy and blood can flow in and heal.

The jars can be stationary on a particular point, or slid in order to cover a larger area using a small amount of herbal oil. Most oils used also have healing qualities of their own. Stationary cups can be placed on the skin alone or over an acupuncture needle. Cups can be placed distally as well as on a local area with good results. Generally a cup is left on the skin for 10 min. and can cause a purple bruise like mark to remain, if the stagnation was caused by blood. These marks last a few days and leave no remaining signs afterwards. A quick cupping technique is used with elderly or deficient patients in order to achieve benefit without depleting the client of needed energy.

Pain in a particular area of the body and/or tight muscles is what cupping is used for most often. It can help with many other ailments as well. Varicose veins, boils, low back pain, shoulder or leg pain, stomachache, vomiting, diarrhea, and chronic coughs are just a few additional reasons for using cups. Chest congestion, from an acute situation like colds and flues to chronic asthma, gets great relief using this method.

Cupping is written about in ancient texts throughout the world. It is believed to have come from the orient originally. Cattle horn was the first cups written about and were used over much of cupping history. Cupping has been used as a folk remedy throughout Europe, North and South America, as well Africa and during recent history in most rural areas. This safe and effective adjunctive therapy is used when needed in our Coral Gables alternative medical practice.

Our office was featured on NBC 6’s health beat, with Diana Gonzalez interviewing Dr. Nirenberg on July 26th, 2004. The news interview and demonstration discussed cupping and it’s uses. As our local cupping expert Dr. Nirenberg was featured on CBS Channel 4 with Joy Perdy November 19, 2004 and in February 2005 on Univision channel 23.