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Cupping is an ancient Chinese treatment modality in which a partial vacuum (via heat or suction) is created inside a small jar (commonly glass, plastic, or bamboo) and then placed on the skin. This draws up the underlying tissues. When the cup is left in place for a few minutes, blood stasis is formed and localized healing takes place. The earliest recorded use of cupping is from Taoist alchemist and herbalist Ge Hong (281-341 A.D.), A Handbook of Prescriptions for Emergencies, in which he describes using animal horns for draining pustules.
Cupping is commonly performed by acupuncturists to activate specific acupuncture points and meridians, able to affect the body up to four inches into the tissues, causing the of release toxins, activate the lymphatic system, clear colon blockages, help activate and clear the veins, arteries and capillaries, activate the skin, clear stretch marks and improve varicose veins. Common cupping protocols can treat various respiratory, digestive, and gynecological disorders, as well as the common cold, insomnia, facial paralysis and pain syndromes.