History of cupping
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Uniwersytecki Szpital Dziecięcy, ul. Wielicka 265, 30-663 Kraków
China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Dongzhimenneinanxiaojie Str. 16, Beijing, China
Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Zhanghe Str. 528, Shanghai, China
Zakład Biochemii Klinicznej, Instytut Pediatrii, Collegium Medicum UJ, ul. Wielicka 265, Kraków
Corresponding author
Przemysław Jan Tomasik   

Zakład Biochemii Klinicznej, Instytut Pediatrii, Collegium Medicum UJ, ul. Wielicka 265, Kraków, Department of Clnical Biochemistry, 30-663 Krakow, Polska
Med Og Nauk Zdr. 2018;24(4):244-250
Introduction and Objective:
Vacuum therapy, next to herbal medicine and massage, is one of the oldest forms of treatment in medicine. The roots of cupping can be found in prehistory, and the technique of this therapy has remained almost unchanged until modern times. The aim of the study was analysis of the history of cupping therapy in Europe, the Middle East and Far East. A summary description of the state of the art: for centuries „dry” cups were more preferred in the Far East, while „wet” cupping was more often used in the Middle East and in Europe. In western culture, cupping was the important part of conventional therapies and folk medicine until the beginning of the 20th century, but in Poland and other Eastern European countries even until the end of the 20th century. In the 21st century, there was a revival of cupping based on the interest in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Currently in Western medicine, cupping therapy is seen (erroneously) as part of Traditional Chinese Medicine and is considered as non-conventional or alternative therapy. In Far Eastern medicine cupping is not only a cultural tradition, but it is also therapy assisted by the State health policy. In countries such as China, Korea and Japan, cupping is reimbursed by their Ministries of Health. Summary. It is believed that cupping therapy is a versatile and effective method for the treatment or co-treatment of many diseases, increases immunity and stimulates metabolism. It is used not only alone, but also in combined therapies. The recent popularity of cupping is given in media reports on the application of this therapy by famous athletes and celebrities.

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