Traditional acupuncture is a healthcare system based on ancient principles which go back nearly two thousand years. It has a very positive model of good health and function, and looks at pain and illness as signs that the body is out of balance. The overall aim of acupuncture treatment, then, is to restore the body’s equilibrium.
Traditional acupuncturists believe that the underlying principle of treatment is that illness and pain occur when the body’s qi, or vital energy, cannot flow freely. There can be many reasons for this; emotional and physical stress, poor nutrition, infection or injury are among the most common. By inserting ultra-fine sterile needles into specific acupuncture points, a traditional acupuncturist seeks to re-establish the free flow of qi to restore balance and trigger the body’s natural healing response.
The therapy of cupping has been used in China for thousands of years. At first it was applied using cattle horns or cross sections of bamboo. To create negative pressure inside the horn or bamboo these ancient ‘cups’ where boiled in water or fire was ignited to expel the air and suck the cups onto the skin. These cups were used mostly to draw out pus and blood in the treatment of boils. Cupping was originally used as an auxiliary method in traditional Chinese surgery. Later it was found to be useful in treating other diseases and developed into a special therapeutic method.
Through several thousand years of accumulated clinical experience, the clinical applications of cupping have become increasingly wide. Now Chinese medicine cupping is used to treat arthritic symptoms, asthma, the common cold, chronic cough, indigestion problems and some skin conditions.