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Cupping Benefits
The following are a number of ideas found in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) about the ways cupping benefits the body. They come from literature provided by manufacturers of our cupping sets.

The skin is the largest human organ,containing fluid, blood, blood vessels, connective tissue, muscle and rich nerve supplies. Hence any topical stimulus that is to influence and manipulate internal or external organs must start at the skin level. Since our body's first direct contact with the outside world is through the skin, it can be said that our skin reflects our health. The skin is usually shiny, tight with a smooth texture when we are in good health. In addition, it responds to changes in temperature and is is generally warm to touch.

However, a dull, rather lifeless skin appearance is evident, with little natural color and often cold to the touch, when the body is unhealthy .
Not only does the skin protect the body from external pathogens, it plays a major role in a number of body functions. Through many millions of nerve endings within its structure, the organ receives sensation. As well, temperature control is achieved through a vast network of blood vessels and glands. Skin is composed of the outer epidermis and the inner dermis. The epidermis has no nerves, connective tissue or blood vessels. It is the outermost cellular layer of the skin, which varies in thickness, ranging from 0.1 mm in the eyelid to over 1 mm on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the main objective of acupuncture, massage and cupping is to change and influence a particular organ's Blood and Qi (or "Chi") through manipulation of the skin by stimulating a particular point. TCM's main 14 channels with a direct link to the internal organs also lie within the skin. Channels, collaterals, Blood and Qi affect the the above.

From the Chinese Medicine point of view, the lung directly controls and influences the skin. As long as the lung's energy is plentiful, skin is nourished, glows, and performs well. Skin moisture is dependent on healthy lungs because they spread the Qi and Fluids around the body through the skin. Each internal organ has a corresponding channel on the skin, which also means it is a connection that mediates with external pathogens through the skin.

Western definitions of Qi (sometimes shown as "Chi") include The energy of life, "Vital force," "Life force,", Energy. Everyday comments such as ''Last week I was very ill and my energy level was so low that all I did was stay in bed. Today I feel better and more energetic and much stronger too,'' demonstrate that we all experience the existence of Qi on a regular basis.

Qi is manifested in movement and heat. All movement requires Qi, and often this is evident as heat. However, cold signifies the lack of energy. In the clinical situation as well, a lack of energy usually occurs when a patient complains of cold. It is a Turkish tradition that a chair must be allowed to cool down after it has been vacated before someone else takes it. There is an honest concern and fear of catching another person's hidden illness through his body warmth left on the chair.

During the treatment of disease which is in the Qi Level, the external pathogen is still fighting at the skin level and the body's overall resistance is still good, according to the Four Levels of Differentiation of Syndromes. Some of the clinical manifestations include a high fever, a cough with thin yellow phlegm, wheezing and thirst. At this level, cupping treatment is especially effective.

Through functional activity of Qi ("Chi"), blood is transformed from the essence of food, which then circulates throughout the blood vessels and nourishes the body tissue.

Within the context of Chinese medicine teaching, it should be noted that Blood is derived from Food and Qi and produced by the Spleen.

Blood in TCM contains Qi ("Chi" or energy), which is the locomotive of Blood. Blood and Qi cannot be separated as Qi infuses life into Blood. Without it, Blood would be inert.

Blood circulates in blood vessels and channels as well as collaterals. Qi follows where Blood goes and Blood moves where Qi moves. In the Chinese Yin/Yang diagram, Blood is Yin where Qi is Yang.

Wei Qi
Wei Qi is the Protective/Defensive Qi that flows just under the skin. It forms the outermost defensive wall against all external pathogens, such as Wind, Cold, Damp and Heat. Wei Qi is also in control of perspiration, by regulating the opening and closing of the pores of the skin. Governed by the Lungs, its source is Blood and Qi and it warms and nourishes the skin. ''Wei Qi is one type of Yang-Qi, the result of the digestion and absorption of food by the Spleen and Stomach, having the functions of protecting the integument and musculature against external pathogens, adjusting sweat secretion and nourishing the skin.'' ''Failure of Wei Qi to protect the body against diseases: a morbid state marked by spontaneous sweating and aversion to wind, caused by deficiency of the superficial Qi, lowering the ability of the body to resist diseases, leading to the invasion of exopathic factors.''

Clinical manifestations at this level consist of fever with little or no sweating, occipital headache, stiff neck, thirst, sore throat, cough and a feeling of chill. Cupping therapy is highly effective for treating conditions at this level.

Stagnation, in TCM, usually refers to congestion or accumulation through lack of movement; pertains to lack of movement of any kind , i.e., Food, Fluids, Qi or Blood.

Stagnation of food (food accumulation)
This condition is often exhibited by children whose parents are eager to feed the child with rich foods, sometimes with force. Cold drinks and foods or irregular feeding habits can also cause accumulation problems. All of the above impair the Spleen's function of transformation and transportation. Clinical symptoms include restlessness, vomiting, stomach and abdominal pains.

Stagnation of fluids
Body Fluids originate from the Stomach. Fluids are the necessary Yin substance in the Stomach that help it carry out the proper digestion process. When this process is impaired by Cold and Heat pathogens, or too many raw foods, it damages the Spleen's functions. Clinical manifestations of fluid stagnation are very similar to those of food stagnation, with the exception of fluids accumulation in the extremities, i.e., the hands and feet. This condition is caused by Heart of Kidney Qi deficiency and it usually affects elderly people.

Cupping Effects According to
Traditional Chinese Medicine

1. Effects upon the skin
Cupping treatment is beneficial for the skin in many ways. It strengthens the renewing power of the skin and its resistance to various harmful conditions, which means the skin will regenerate faster when it has been cut or wounded. Based on one experiment on a 35-year-old male subject, it has been found that cupping therapy stimulates hair growth as a result of increase in blood circulation, skin temperature and
metabolism within skin tissue through direct physical stimuli on hair roots and expansion of blood vessels of the skin by means of the pull of low pressure.

Cupping Effects

There is an improvement in the functioning of sweat and sebaceous glands and of cutaneous (skin) respiration, which helps the user to lose weight. Cupping also encourages a sufficient supply of nutrition to the tissues. One of the main purposes of cupping therapy is to withdraw old blood stagnant within the skin and to remove poisonous substances from the surface of the skin. (This is the reason why a doctor's hands become yellowy when he continues this therapy on his patient). The skin will be all aglow after the therapy as a result of the rise in skin temperature and muscles by the increase of the blood flow.

2. Effects upon muscles
Cupping treatments remove congested blood due to the functioning of blood vessels within the muscles as it is activated in response to the stimulation of the subcutaneous capillary vessels (under the skin). It has been shown to have a remarkable effect on a stiff shoulder as a result of the expansion of the blood vessels in the muscles, which facilitates the flow of blood. What's more, it also facilitates the flow of lymph, which helps remove bacteria and carry proteins.

3. Effects upon joints
Cupping therapies are effective for Chronic joint rheumatism as result of better flow of blood within the joints, the activity and secretion of synovial fluids. Mild conditions have been cured completely and muscle spasms around the joints can be removed

4. Effects upon the digestive organs

The stomach, spleen and intestines are regarded as the most important "engine" of the human body. They are areas where the natural healing power of the body derives its energies. Cupping treatment stimulates the interior of the organs, their peristaltic movement and secretion of digestive fluids, and strengthens thereby the power of digestion and absorption of nourishment as well as the power of secretion. Treatment involves cupping upon the belly to produce a low pressure pulling. It relieves chronic gastroenteritis disorders and constipation as a whole. These organs are benefited even during the treatment of the back by way of the stimulation of the spinal nerves and the automatic nerves. In addition to improving the digestive organs, it also strengthens the muscles of the respiratory organs.

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