By Sahar Ghaffari, LuxEco Living Editorial Assistant

Are you feeling a bit stressed but don’t want to take any prescription medication? Or like your body needs to be cleansed, but don’t want to starve yourself on a diet? Well then a natural alternative for you could be cupping. What’s that? Cupping is an ancient method of medicine used by cultures around the world to relieve muscle pain as well as release the body of its toxins. The first evidence of this medicinal practice dates back to around 1550 B.C. in one of the oldest medical text books found in Egypt. Since then, cupping has traveled to China, the Middle East, and Europe.

Gwyneth Paltrow tries cupping

Cupping involves heating the air inside a cup (usually with fire) and placing the inverted cup on the body. Since the fire gets rid of the oxygen in the cup a vacuum is created, forcing the skin to swell upward. Consequently, a round bruise or welt usually appears after the treatment and heals within several days. In traditional Chinese medicine it is believed that cupping helps to get rid of stagnant blood within the body. In “wet cupping” the skin is punctured prior to the placement of the cups so that “toxins” can be released when the skin starts to swell.

In recent years, cupping has surfaced in mainstream media thanks to celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Jessica Simpson; who have talked about receiving cupping therapy. In spite of this, and the fact that cupping has been around for over three millennia, western medicine has yet to approve. According to the American Cancer Society, “available scientific evidence does not support cupping as a cure for cancer or any other disease.” Nonetheless, cupping can be a good alternative for people who are searching for a holistic approach to medicine.


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