Cupping therapy has been practiced across many cultures all over the world and the two main kinds of therapy are clearly wet and dry cupping. Both have been known to be highly effective in curing ailments and are still used by modern day cupping therapists.
Dry cupping is a method by which suction is created on particular points on the patient’s body. Suction could be created by using heat to warm the cups so that the cooling air inside the cup creates a vacuum that tugs the skin upwards. Other methods of creating suction include using an air pump to siphon air out of the cup. In today’s times, glass cups are used so that the therapist can monitor the condition of the skin. Medical grade silicone cups are also used because of their pliability.
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Wet cupping takes the technique of dry cupping a step further. After applying dry cupping for about 3 to 5 minutes, the therapist performs tiny cuts on the raised area to allow for the elimination of toxic blood and fluids. These cuts or pricks might be performed with three-pronged needles like in the case of Chinese cupping therapy or with lancets or scalpels. Islamic cupping propagates the scraping of the skin. Another cup is then placed on the same area to suck up the blood. The healer might also apply pressure around the treated area to speed the flow of blood. Later, the cut is treated with antiseptic ointments and bandages to assist in the healing process.
Effects and Discomfort Level
Dry cupping has an effect of redness of the skin and some amount of swelling when the blood and fluids accumulate under the skin. This therapy does not cause any pain and at the most the patient might experience a pinching sensation followed by a relaxed feeling. At times, blisters might form and the healer will tell you that this is an indication that the treatment has been effective in targeting the ailing section of the body. In the case of wet cupping, some amount of discomfort is caused because the skin is cut. However, these cuts are only superficial and heal in a short time leaving behind no scars. On the request of the patient, the healer might offer local anesthesia. This eliminates the pain completely.
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Before performing dry cupping, the therapist might apply herbal oils or creams on the skin, especially if the treatment is to be combined with gliding cupping, a form of massage therapy. But in the case of wet cupping, the healer takes care to sterilize the area before making cuts to ensure that there are no infections caused by the treatment.
When dry cupping is performed, the cupping therapist might perform massage therapy or hydration to reduce the appearance of redness and swelling. This redness typically settles in a few days time. But when wet cupping is performed, aside from bandaging, no other treatments are applied.
Dry cupping can be combined with other forms of treatment such as massage therapy, gliding cupping, water cupping, magnetic cupping and many more. Wet cupping can only be performed by itself.