First of all, the marks are NOT bruises.  Bruises are areas where the blood has left the vessel because the vessel has been crushed or torn. The ‘frank’ blood has escaped into the surrounding tissues.  “Frank” blood is blood that is liquid red.  Nothing special.


In the more holistic forms of health care we have four examination points to consider to get a whole picture of the patient’s overall health.   In more focal techniques that are used in hospitals and ‘Western’ medical offices they usually rely of only the main complaint.   Most of these were developed thousands of years ago before x-ray or MRIs became even a dream.  The four diagnoses are; looking, listening, smelling/tasting, and touching (palpation).


The looking diagnosis is used here in the cupping technique because we need to see the marks left by the cups to determine how much stagnation there is.  Looking diagnosis takes into consideration the skin, eyes, hair, tongue, tone and color of the lips etc.  These can give a good indication of how healthy the person is generally.  However, people that use many products such as hair gels, conditioners, makeup, cover-ups and such can be more difficult to diagnose correctly.   To use looking diagnosis on a patient beforehand we hope to determine the following.  Skin tone and color, determine if the skin is too dry, or there are mottled portions (colored patterns) also look for moles, skin tags, scars and the like.  These can determine changes in the cupping technique, placement or time of treatment.


Listening diagnosis:  Not only listening to the patient as to why they are getting cupping it is important to know their expectations of what they think it will do for them.  Also the tone and volume of voice can indicate other issues such as weakness, nervousness, etc.  In traditional Chinese theory as well as Ayurveda certain sounds relate to specific organs or energy centers.


Smelling and tasting of a patient is rather weird, but having that knowledge can help you determine other factors of the health and dis-ease processes of the patient.  Here, with cupping we do not need to smell or taste anything.  The practitioners of old would smell breath, urine, taste skin etc to find core causes of disease.


Felling diagnosis is also called palpation.  We will use this to feel for very tight areas and how loose or tight the tissue is we are cupping on.   In traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture practice we use the pulse to determine problems.  In cupping you can use touch to find where to put the cups, where to avoid putting them (like on boney areas) and the like.

So now that you have completed cupping on a person you see a variation of colors, textures and other ‘signs’ what do they mean?


The first spot.  Darkened purple to almost black spot.  This is a severe stagnation sign and there is good chance that the toxins have now been released for the body to process.  It is the most desirable sign in cupping.   It means you have gotten much of that dark, stagnant blood up to the surface. We will recheck each three or four days until there are not any more spots to do.  We try to give at least five days for each spot to completely ‘heal’, although some bilirubin signs may remain for up to two weeks.  This is also a sign that the overall system is challenged.


The second:  Moderate stagnation:  This is a more red than purple spot.  A good sign toxins have been released as well, but they were not as stagnant as long. You may notice this after a couple sessions on the same person.  It means you have gotten some of that deep dark stagnant blood to the surface.  It may mean you only have a few more treatments before you are ‘clear’. There may be blisters or clear fluid as well.  This level would require some visits to clear out. I usually suggest after the first visit to wait five days and then do another session.  The spots will generally turn a yellowish green as the bilirubin of that stagnant blood is processed.


The third: ‘Healthy’ do not be fooled by this.  Look carefully.  You may have not put the cups on strong enough or left them on for enough time,  although it can be seen on someone who  has a healthy system and who is  releasing toxins effectively.  Still this therapy can help them ‘stay on top’ of it.  Sometimes the client is too dehydrated to have cupping do anything. Sometimes they are too tight.



Massage and heat before cupping will help this open up.

The fourth:  Spotted with pink to lavender background.  Lots of congestion and toxins that are having a hard time moving.  This can be painful even.  Consider heat with or before cupping to help them release toxins.   The tissues are too tight to release the stagnant dark blood but you have managed to pull some of it forward.  The background may be a greenish lavender color. These people need lots of work.


The fifth: Lavender to yellow appearance.  This is the worst case as it usually means (traditionally) that there is a nerve or bone problem.  A sign of severe stagnation that cannot be released yet. This sign is not good and luckily not too common.  I have found it in people with very chronic diseases that are usually on significant amounts of prescription medication.   There are other treatments that will help these people become more comfortable and stable before more treatment.   Remember, cupping is no silver bullet; however   it is a great tool and will help the body regain homeostasis.



Sixth: Blisters, you may see water filled blisters and no other redness under the cup.  This is a different kind of stagnation bordering on outright dryness.  Think of a river bed.  It is not wet enough to be muddy, but if you pick up dirt and squeeze it, water may come out.  The patient needs  much more fluid and fluid movement.  Treat as much as you can, even daily.   Best to release the fluid if the blisters are big, and cover.  Continue treatment after the blisters have healed.  Make sure the patient does lots of hydration (in and out) before next treatment.  They  may benefit more from massage therapy.


Seventh:  Redness around the cups.   This is from a histamine response.  These people may have allergies or some form of autoimmune disorder.  Other than that, any of the above can occur.  They may have itchiness after treatment.  Itchiness is a histamine reaction and goes away quickly.  If the histamine reaction (a reddish halo) is large, it can be an indicator that the body is already in an inflammatory response somewhere (or everywhere).  If it does not show it could be normal for darker skin or show that the histamine reaction is too slow.  People that take antihistamines may show no halo.  Remember, the interior of the circle will be any of the above possibilities.


The ‘Halo’

Here we see a different pattern with a normal treatment time.   The inner area of the circle is somewhere between moderate to normal in appearance, it may even have some lavender look to it.  However, on the outer rim is a halo of moderate to severe stagnation.  This is mostly due to tightness of the tissue as when the patient is over stressed, poorly hydrated, or needs more treatments.   Occasionally the center will look lavender or dark only to disappear when the cups are removed.  This is a deeper set of toxins and will take longer to get the desired result.


Note:  People with very dark skin will show up differently.  Be observant and watch for the same signs but in darker colors.   Try not to be fooled by those of more olive skin, they can frequently show greenish or yellowing which is not Jaundice or anything to be concerned with.


How Cupping Works; the physiology of cupping.

Theory of fluid motion:  The fluids in your body are based in water- most around 95%. The blood is about 60-70%, with many different components. It includes proteins, minerals, oxygen and carbon dioxide, among many others.  We are going to consider it all the same for a moment.  When fluid is moved from its space in the body, it will flow back or be replaced by the body to maintain and regain a sense of homeostasis or balance.  Water likes to flow to its own level…

Cupping will move fluids to areas they are not commonly in, and this will cause a replacement effect. The fluid will be removed and replaced with the right mix of water and dissolved things (solutes)…


We know that life is motion and motion is life.  Fluid motion that is smooth and easy is the best way to maintain our health.  Think of a creek… if it flows easily, it collects no crud and does not become stagnant. A lot can grow there, happily and well.  Too fast and nothing can grow.… Get it?

This is part of the series ‘Cupping Therapy’ I have the complete book with diagrams available on Kindle.  The class is held at my office in Parker Colorado.  Please check out our office The Natural BodyWorks LLC.  http://www.thenaturalbodyworks.com

Dr. Sean’s Combo Cleanse…

I have been using cleanses, prescribing them, researching them and combining them for over 20 years.  Using them myself with really good success.  Any cleanse you do is a good thing.  Some require an amazing amount of time and effort.  Many cleanses are 10 days or more.  I have found that more frequent small or short cleanses are easier and help build up the habit of better living.  A small cleanse is better than no cleanse at all.

Cleanse:  Do any of the steps for three or four days.  Day 1, salad, Day 2 salad AND bowel cleanse, Day 3 Salad, bowel cleanse AND Gall bladder cleanse.  You can use the ‘master cleanse’ throughout or do it at another time.

  1. First day and each day as long as you want to do this cleanse. Larger roughage salad, kale, celery, spinach, okra, anything with LOTS of fiber. This is something you have to CHEW a lot… it stimulates the whole digestive system to work and gets the parasympathetic nervous system a boost. This will help you relax actually… The idea is that with chewing you stimulate the entire digestive system to start up.  This gets the part of your nervous system (the parasympathetic) to work, secreting mucus throughout the system, creating enzymes, and special secretions for the food.  Add nuts too that way you really have to work out the jaw.   I buy a big family size variety pack of salad from the store.  No reason to get all organic yet but that is an option.    Juicing, although nice.  Is not an option for this cleanse because you do not chew and chewing is an important part of this.


OR:  Do this broth and Veggie stew. Very rich in minerals.  Get one of every vegetable you can find that grows UNDER ground.  Beets, Carrots, Potato, Parsnips, Celery root, Rutabagas, etc.… set in a large pot with LOTS of water, bring to boil and then simmer for up to an hour.  All the vegetables will likely be mash but it is the water that you want.  Eat those veggies with light seasoning for each of the days and drink the broth… all of it…


  1. Second day, begin…. Bowel cleanse… (eat the salad or ‘stew’ as well today) Think of how many times a day you have a bowel movement.  Go to three to really clean out, if you already go that much all the better, it is to set up a better schedule.  Think of how much food you eat each sitting, a handful?  Two? Three?   You should at least be releasing half that right?


There are five OPTIONS choose one or two or do them on separate days… If they are strong, be careful with the dosage, it just makes the whole bowel release and it can be a doozy if you are not near easy access to the restroom.  You have been warned… (I speak from experience)   Here they are listed from easiest to most aggressive.  Start with the recommended dose on the package, if you are not seeing a change the next day (as in more volume and frequency) then up the dose.

  1. Senna tea: not as strong as the Cascara, you can use this frequently.  This one is good for kids too.
  2. Vitamin C… 2,000 mg, then follow with 250 to 500 mg each hour until you get results. This is a good one if you are just hanging out at home. It is not too dramatic but release can be pretty voluminous.
  3. Cascara sagrada tea: This is strong, be prepared.   It is a smooth muscle stimulant.  You will get lots of gurgling and maybe even some cramping.  That means it is working.  Be strong, and fast.
  4. Magnesium Citrate: Get it at the drug store, strong too, but dosed well.  Usually lemon flavored.  This is well measured, the Epsom salt listed below is variable and more ‘powerful’.
  5. Epsom Salts: drink in your least favorite juice…  You will know why later.  This is STRONG… read label on carton for more.  Can get results within half an hour…


  1. On the third an additional days, Gall Bladder cleanse, do a day of the bowel cleanse first… So this day, have the salad or stew, also do the bowel cleanse and THIS.
    1. Get ¼ cup olive oil…
    2. Get ¼ cup lemon juice. Real is best, but do what you can.
    3. Mix and drink it ½ hour before bed. Lie on RIGHT side.
    4. Although some have more release from the bowel, and sometimes foamy, or ‘different’ some have no change at all. You may feel tingling or gurgling in the gut especially when lying on the right side.  This is the gall bladder emptying.  This will help get the liver to move bile through and clean itself out.


  1. You can also do the Master Cleanse at the same time… I modify it… Here is how. I make a bunch a head of time and drink it over the next few days.  Can use it AS ‘the cleanse’ too if you do not take any food during that time.  Can use up to 20 days with food or 10 without…
    1. 16oz water
    2. One teaspoon chlorophyll (good for liver) (OPTIONAL)
    3. Ginger (good for liver and gut) Juice or grated and juiced… about ½ teaspoon. (OPTIONAL)
    4. One teaspoon maple syrup (grade B is best) Or can use Black strap molasses (it has more minerals)
    5. 1/10th teaspoon cayenne pepper.
    6. Juice of 1 lemon or two tablespoons of Apple cider vinegar.

This is a pretty easy cleanse but it can be a powerful way to get your entire system moving better.  It can help you with absorption, elimination and the whole process of digestion.  Doing this once a month is enough for most people to reset a little.  There is no need to spend too much money for supplements and all kinds of ingredients you can get at the supermarket.

More advice:  Do this with a friend, or a group.  Get on line and do it on Facebook or something.  These are always better with others and this one is not too drastic nor is it too aggressive.

Take three or four days, that’s all.  Do this and you will know you did something good for your body, feel better and start a new tradition (habit) of better living.

Many patients that have done this have reduced meat, fatty foods, junky foods, and sodas, and all that stuff we know is ‘bad’ for us.  We just need a little help with a little cleanse.

Good luck, let me know how you are doing and if and how I can help you.

Contact me directly at drsean@thenaturalbodyworks.com

or check our FaceBook NaturalBodyWorksPaker

Remember also we have a very active YouTube Channel, please check it out, like the videos and subscribe to get the latest!  YouTube Channel for Natural BodyWorks

What Cupping is good for…Indications

(unfortunately, the diagrams are not getting on the blog, sorry about that.  I am working on it.  You can buy the book complete on Kindle…)

Chronic issues of pain, fatigue, or disability

Pain and fatigue are good signs that the body does not move as much as it should to enable movement of toxins, acids and nutrients to and from all areas of the body.  Cupping helps to kick start this and get those fluids moving.

History of prescription or recreational drug use. 

This is a great way to help other modalities when someone is in a detox state.  Those medications or drugs tend to hang in the subcutaneous fat and are difficult to remove.  Cupping can help them get the where they need to go to be excreted or detoxified by the liver.

Too much protein in the diet.

Proteins are difficult and take longer to digest.  They are however, nutritionally rich and can generally be refined into any of the main components we need; amino acids, carbohydrates, lipids.  Some proteins can remain in blood plasma and can make the blood (as a whole) thicker, more sludgy and less easily moved among the compartments.

Parasite or candida infection:

Some parasites and other infections slow the response of the body on purpose to make sure they (the infectious bug) live longer.  Some parasites can even wall off their area so that our normal immunity cannot get to it.   Cupping can help open up those areas to good blood and other fluids that will attract and activate your own immune system and cleaning mechanisms.

Exposure to environmental toxins, mold, pollen, chemicals etc.

The more chemical exposure, the longer treatment will take. The patient will also have to get out of the  environment that has the irritating chemicals.   Cupping can help the whole body process those irritating toxins and get some help for the liver, lungs and skin to work more efficiently.

Past traumatic events that tend to rear up now and again.

Yes, even PTSD can benefit.  You may have heard the term “The issues are in the tissues” which is the body’s way of segmenting and separating fluids for different reasons.  There is no reason to think that emotional/spiritual/consciousness issues do not react the same way.   Cupping can be a relaxing respite for them as well.  Breathing is essential in this type of treatment.

That feeling of being stagnant or ‘stuck’ in life, relationships, career etc…

Cupping can help you feel more fresh and light, giving you the edge on energy to start a good habit of health and wellbeing.  When the cups are on, you can also use meditative techniques to really contemplate your next action in life… etc.



As a general treatment to help the body’s natural processes work a little better.  When we are talking about toxins, we don’t only mean the normal toxins that build up from normal metabolism: carbon dioxide, lactic acid, carbonic acid, cellular debris, and excess water from metabolism.  Remember, our bodies normally handle this all by themselves; cupping helps it move even more.

We can also help affect those that are doing any form of detoxification, from alcohol, drugs; even just ‘bad’ energy can be moved with cupping.  Sometimes we can get what used to be called a health care crisis, where you have flu like symptoms from having all the toxins get stirred up in the system all at once.


As an example, think of a bucket of dirty water.  If you let it sit long enough the dirt will all settle to the bottom and the water will seem rather clear and pure.  Obviously there is lots of muck deep down and once you stir it up there can be that feeling of sickness all over again.  Cupping can do that sometimes, but keep at it, drink plenty of water and help flush out the system.  There are some supplements and herbs that can help with this process as well.  (We can go over them later)

Concentrate the cup placement on the back around the areas that serve the kidneys and liver.  (See diagram).

Also, in later sessions we can do some abdominal gentle cupping and see how that fares for you.


Cellulite:  This, I would consider a more advanced treatment and should be done by someone with a little more training and with the Finnish soft cups.  Great to get the fluids moving in the cellulite areas.  The cellulite will disappear at least temporarily, as it is merely toxins stuck in fat tissue.  Once the toxins are released the tissue will appear more normal. This can take months to clear from the body and needs nutritional, chemical, physical, and consciousness care as well.  There are vacuum devices that cost thousands that can do the work as well, but cupping is easy and cheap.


Colds and flu:  One of the main traditional uses of cupping, commonly with a sauna and herbal teas and salves.   This can be a great way to help break a fever. It opens channels that heat will escape from really quickly.  Be careful not to let the client become chilled.  Cover all spots by wearing a shirt. Too much Qi release can be problematic.

This is one time the cups can be used on the chest, although lightly will get a good enough result to help with congestion and that feeling of being un-well.


Stiffness:   This is a great way to loosen the tissues and promote blood flow which will remove the lactic acid that causes the stiffness.  Helps to re-oxygenate the tissues and get fluids moving again bringing oxygen, nutrients and fluids and therefore loosening the stiffness.


Neck and shoulders:  We are generally talking about the shoulders and trapezius muscles that tend to get very tight with emotional and mental stress.  You know those, top of the shoulders and on the back.  This is the best place to put the cups so that they can do the most benefit.  Feel for the tight spots or most tender areas and set the cups on those with three or four pumps.  Then give that about five minutes and recheck.


Abdominal or Belly cupping:  Here we should use the flash cupping or gentle cupping in the areas as listed in the diagram.  Make sure and do the areas of complaint first as this will help the whole system become looser.  (See Diagram)  This can be useful for the following conditions: Bloating, gall bladder issues, liver enzymes elevated, liver issues, splenic or immune issues, stomach problems, sour stomach, constipation, irritable bowel.

Also, since it increases fluids in the local area, it can be useful for pelvic work when someone wants to become pregnant.  Treatment below the belly button and on the back is indicated to help increase heat to the uterus and surrounding tissues.  DO NOT  use on a pregnant person, though.


Knees and ankles:  For this use the smaller cups.  I have used this with  acupuncture with really good success.  Be mindful of the veiny areas. The  cups may not want to stick unless there is lots of effusion in those  areas.  And then be careful.  Use the flash cupping and then try some other parts on the calf or up in the thigh so that you can influence the most movement of fluid against gravity.  Continue this for about five minutes and recheck often to make sure the cups are staying where you want them, and that the fluids are moving.


Facial cupping:  This is a good technique for rehabilitation of the face and can help reduce some wrinkles.  Do this very carefully; only a little bit of a pump. You should use the smallest of the cups for this to be able to work.  This is a very ‘Yin’ area, so caution is advised.



Cupping details.

Does it hurt?  It can feel uncomfortable, especially if the tissue is over congested and tight, or if you are dehydrated.  Drink plenty of good water before and after a session.  Some people will feel ‘flu-y’ after a treatment.  The best thing to do in that case is simply drink plenty of water and keep the cupped area  warm and covered.  A lot of energy (Qi) is released when you have cupping.  The marks are considered open spots that leak lots of vital energy which, if you are already fighting off some bug or somewhat sick, you may feel the sick feeling more.  Most people feel a ‘freshness’ at the areas of cupping, which is a great sign that energy is coming back to the area.


How long will those marks last?  That depends on how deep the stagnation and how ‘healthy’ your system really is.  Usually the marks last a couple of days.  Sometimes, with deep set stagnation that is chronic, a yellowish mark may remain for a couple of weeks.  This is an indication that much more work needs to be done.


What should one do about the marks?  Marks  are a natural and  expected result of good cupping.  Keep them covered and warm, as the ‘opening’ of that area will release a lot of energy and heat.  You can be more susceptible to chills and further trouble if they are left uncovered, especially for the first day or so.  Also, since the marks are more ‘open’ than the rest of the skin, be mindful of what you put on your skin.  Natural and medicated oils will be more potent.

Drink water or eat before coming for the treatment. You will relax even more and avoid uncomfortable nausea and dizziness which occasionally occur.


After cupping it is common to feel coolness, or a light feeling.  Your energy will go up or down depending on how your body reacts to the cupping treatment.  Best plan is to schedule 4 or 5 treatments over a month period to cleanse the entire area and facilitate healing in the most efficient way for you.

Taking a deep breath and get a sharp pain?  It really could be a rib out of place.  First we should consider other possibilities…


The most obvious one is the heart, the most troubling at least.   Here is the key though.  A rib will not hurt in certain positions or when you hold your breath, as in just not breathe.  Not to take in a big breath, that will hurt, I will tell you why….

The heart is a strong pump that is continually moving blood through your circulatory system.  When the heart gets a cramp it is called angina.  That is basically, chest pain related t


o the heart.  The heart can have an  attack which may be a clot or other failure which can cause chest pain, but it is also going to refer pain.  Referral of pain means that the organ or place of injury may share nerves or other tissues with an area of the body not near


that organ.  Most people know the left arm and neck pain can be a referral from the heart.  Did you know that the right shoulder pain can be a referral from the gall bladder?

Back to the ribs.

The ribs attach at two places on the spine, the body of the vertebrae.  This is rather deep and difficult to even imagine if you have never had any anatomy classes, and the transverse process of the vertebrae.  We can feel these under the muscle of the back about an inch to the sides of each of the bumps on the back.  Those are called spinouses.

This is where a lot of movement naturally occurs, each twist of the body, bend  and stretch each breath they move just a little.  They all work in unison, all a little bit at a time so that we can breathe smoothly and move with finesse.   When one tilts or turns and sticks or gets into a place it can ‘catch’ it will cause a spasm around the joint and then the muscles between the ribs can spasm giving the characteristic pain that goes from the back to the front or visa versa.

I have outlined some of it in my video (here) Costochondritis and rib pain

Application and practice of Cupping Therapy

Determine the goals of cupping. Make sure you and the person receiving the cupping understand the time it may take to get the desired result.  Try to become clear on the desired result and ascertain if it is attainable.  Then look up the points where cupping would be most useful.  Generally, the most painful areas are a good start.  You can get very complex with cupping and have the body look like a pepperoni pizza and get no real benefit.

Place the cups, then hold them in place with one hand.  Using the other hand, hold the pump gun, and place the end on the tip of the cup valve.  Without pushing or pulling the cup, and maintaining a good seal from skin to cup, pump two times to get the skin to rise.  (This of course depends on the style of cupping you are doing.)  You can then change the suction with the cup by changing the valve to release the vacuum and then reapplying the pump to ‘fine’ tune.

Check in one minute or so to see if there is any skin color change.  If not, consider more pumps.  You can pump a lot; I like to consider the comfort of the person receiving cupping.  Allow the cups to remain:

About 5 minutes for children

About 10 minutes for youth/adolescents and young adults.

About 5 minutes for women that are pregnant or menstruating (check precaution)

Use longer depending on what your goals are.  Severe pain requires more.

Generally you should do less in the summer months, as the skin sweats and can better clean itself. Less stagnation occurs, if the patient gets out and gets movement and sweats.


In the winter the skin is contracted and can take longer to get a good result.  It may take more visits.


After the treatment is complete, pull up the tab releasing the vacuum.  Remove the cup and clean immediately.  If there is difficulty removing the cup, use a finger to press the skin next to the cup to release the suction, letting the cup become free of the skin.


If there is bleeding in the cup:   Make sure you have alcohol and tissues to clean.  Surround the cup with some tissues before you remove it as the blood may flow.  Consider the flow pattern.  Make sure to not get any of the blood on you.  Use rubber gloves and consider it a toxic spill.  Be careful!  Discard that blood by flushing down the toilet.  Make sure and soak the cups involved in alcohol and soapy water, wash them well and dry well before putting back in the case.






Removing the cups:

With the vacuum cups, simply pull the tab at the top while holding the cup in place.  Sometimes if you do not hold the cup in place it will be uncomfortable.  Pulling the orange tab will release the negative pressure vacuum inside the cup and allow it to easily be removed from the skin. (See Diagram).














If the cup still is stuck, gently tilt the cup to the side and press with the other hand toward the cup on the skin next to the cup (See Diagram).  It will pop loose.  Notice there will be a whole new pattern you will see.  There is the bulge that will remain for a few minutes to an hour.  This is where the cup pulled the skin.  Then around that there will be a purplish ring, or gully. (See Diagram) This also will disappear in a few minutes to an hour.   The gully is not too significant therapeutically, so ignore it for now.










Finally around all of that will be the red flash, if any.  This was the histamine response from the skin, due to the pulling of the skin around the cup lip.  If any of these last more than an hour it is likely that the patient is dehydrated and/or has severe stagnation.






Treatment times and plans:

In general the time for one single treatment really need only be about 5 minutes.  That is about as long as it takes to really see the result of the cupping.  I do three pumps for the first visit, and after five minutes can add a pump or two if no results comes up.  Once you have added a pump or two wait another five minutes.


With cupping and massage, you can use moving cupping to start and then use some good oil to get more of the fluids going by doing some effleurage and light petrissage.  After doing a few minutes of massage go back to stationary cupping to bring up deeper fluids.


How often can you treat?

You can treat daily but not on the same spots.  With each moderately stagnant spot wait until it has changed to at least the yellow or brownish color before cupping there again.   This generally takes about 4 days.  If you are looking to treat a very large area, use the moving cupping to achieve this.


With any treatment there is a duration of care.  If you are receiving no result after three or so treatments go on to another modality.  Try scraping or try heating the body well before the cupping.  Some people are not suited for cupping.  This depends on their personal preference, age, their constitution and disease processes they are experiencing.    There are many reasons for this which we will discuss in the workshop itself.

For the past couple years I have been hosting and teaching therapeutic cupping to other practicioners.  Here is some of the information we learn in the class.

History of Cupping Therapy.

Cupping is mentioned in the West as far back as Herodotus around 400BC, in Egypt around 1550 BC in the Papyrus Ebers, and in China, it has roots that go back thousands of years.  Of course, there are many techniques of cupping, but one can safely assume that the original techniques were used to release pus and other poisons for either injuries, illnesses, bites or the like.  In the West, it became a common practice to remove poisons or ‘morbid humors’ and this usually necessitated cuts to release one of the humors, for example, blood.   This is most like the more modern ‘Wet’ cupping or ‘Hijamma’, (Hijamat  Bilashurt) which we will not practice in this workshop.  Prior to our modern western medicine as we know it were many odd theories and techniques. Only some have stood up to real scrutiny and the tests of time and scientific study.

  1. The theory of four humors (fluids) in the body. The four humors are blood, pus, bile and black bile… Humors:
    1. Blood: in vessels, heart, arteries, veins, capillaries as well as reservoirs of liver, spleen, pancreas and uterus.
    2. Phlegm: lymph nodes, stomach, lung, respiratory tract, bronchi, brain, vertebral column, sinuses, and spleen.
    3. Yellow bile: gall bladder, liver, spleen, stomach, small intestine (all parts) and some capillaries.
    4. Black Bile: Spleen, veins of the liver, stomach, large intestine, joints, bones, peripheral nerves, hypochondriac region.

Once a humor is aggravated or disturbed or gets too excessive it builds up in a receptacle, (spleen, liver, uterus etc.) then it will overflow and can spread and overcome other functions causing disease.  This is considered archaic and has little basis in physiology.    The humors are considered in relation to quality and quantity.  Some are thickened and some are thinned with disease processes.  Some are sticky or too slippery, or hot or cold etc…

Of course we do not hear about these any more from medical doctors, for good reason.  They are not accurate.