Cupping is a traditional therapy of many nations. Chinese cupping therapy has a history of more than two thousand years. In the 2nd century BC, Chinese cupping was a therapy of using horns heated by boiled water. In the 7th century AD, bamboo cups had been used with the heating method of boiled water. After the 14th century, Chinese doctors liked to use boiled herbs to heat bamboo cups. In the 18th century, fire cupping therapy with pottery cups became popular from southern China. Since glass making technology was imported to China in late 19th century, glass cups took the place of pottery cups. The smooth feature of glass cups makes cupping more comfortable, and the transparency of glass allows therapists to watch the conditions of the skin. Based on the using experience of glass cups, moving cupping method appeared in 1950s and developed in the past decades. It is actually a modern fire cupping therapy.
Table of contents:
1) How to use glass cups for moving cupping
2) Strength and speed of moving cupping
3) Special manipulations of moving cupping
4) Significant advantage for treating shoulder pain and low back pain
5) Difference between moving cupping and Gua Sha
6) Glass cups recommended by us for the treatment
How to use glass cups for moving cupping
Before the therapy, the skin should be coated with lubricant like vaseline, glycerin, moisturiser, or oil for Gua Sha or massage. The lubricant makes cups move smoothly. After a cup is sucked on the skin through the flash-fire method, the therapist holds the cup and moves it along a certain path back and forth until the colour of the skin becomes red or dark red according to therapeutical needs.
Strength and speed of moving cupping
Moving cupping is a therapy that needs a lot of experience. The cup should be moved steadily for keeping the cup being sucked on the skin, avoiding the injury of the skin and reducing the pain of the patient. The therapy can have different effects based on the intensity of negative pressure and the speed of moving. The therapy of moving cupping is generally started with low intensity of negative pressure and slow speed for making a patient adapt himself to the treatment. With low intensity of negative pressure and fast speed, the therapy may stimulate the superficial Qi, which is called defensive Qi, to defend the body against extrinsic pathogenic factors. With high intensity of negative pressure and slow speed, the therapy may stimulate the nutrient Qi and blood to nourish muscles and tendons. With high intensity of negative pressure and fast speed, the therapy may make Qi run smoothly in the meridian system and get rid of blood stasis and pathogenic cold, and may also stimulate the superficial Qi.
Special manipulations of moving cupping
During the therapy of moving cupping, the moving path of a cup is generally along a channel of the meridian system or a certain painful part. For strengthening the simulation to the body, while moving a cup, the therapist can rotate the cup and make it move with a S-like path. When the cup stays on a point, the therapist can sway the cup.
Significant advantage for treating shoulder pain and low back pain
The therapy of moving cupping is suitable for the back, the lumbar and sacral region, the abdomen, thighs and shoulders. The therapy is often used for treating musculoskeletal diseases, respiratory diseases, nervous system diseases, diseases of skin and subcutaneous tissue, and digestive diseases. A significant advantage of moving cupping therapy is to relieve shoulder pain and low back pain. Though the therapy can be used solely, it is more often combined with other therapies like acupuncture or Tuina massage.
Difference between moving cupping and Gua Sha
Moving cupping can be regarded as the combination of cupping and Gua Sha. Because of various manipulations of moving cupping, the therapy actually has some therapeutic effects similar to Tuina massage. However, it cannot take the place of Gua Sha or Tuina massage.
During the therapy of Gua Sha, the Gua Sha tool is holden with a downward strength. But during the therapy of moving cupping, the cup is holden with a slightly upward strength for making it easy to move. Gua Sha is suitable for every part of the body, while moving cupping is only suitable for flat, muscular and fleshy parts.
According to a research about treating arthralgia, Gua Sha is better at improving arthralgia caused by blood stasis, while moving cupping is better at improving arthralgia caused by wind and cold. Moreover, Gua Sha is better at clearing pathogenic heat, while moving cupping is better at clearing pathogenic damp.
Glass cups recommended by us for the treatment
For moving cupping therapy, Chinese-style glass cups are always the best choice. Here we recommend our own brand TCM Goods. We strictly control product details with our cooperation producer according to the characteristics of fire cupping. The glass cups of TCM Goods are firm, durable and comfortable for fire cupping therapy. The design of preventing slipping on the outer surface of a glass cup makes your hand easily and safely hold the cup during moving cupping therapy. The economical cupping glass set of TCM Goods is our top recommendation for your cupping practice.
1. Wang, F., et al., 2016. Methodology of Acupuncture and Moxibustion. 4th ed. Beijing: China Press of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
2. Meng, X., et al., 2019. Origin and Development of Moving Cupping. Asia-Pacific Traditional Medicine, 15 (2), p. 71-73.
3. Wang, M., et al., 2009. Overview of Cupping and Methods of Moving Cupping. Journal of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 28 (4), p. 217.
4. Zhou, W., et al., 2019. Clinical Application Overview of Moving Cupping in the Treatment of Low Back Pain. Jilin Journal of Chinese Medicine, 39 (8), p. 1094-1097.
5. Li, P. & Mo, T., 2007. 259 Cases of Shoulder Pain Treated by Moving Cupping. Journal of Practical Traditional Chinese Medicine, 23 (8), p. 520.
6. Cheng, H. & Zhou, J., 2016. Discussion about the Different and Common Points between Scraping Therapy and Moving Cupping Therapy. Shanghai Journal of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, 35 (11), p. 1366-1368.