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.
- The theory of four humors (fluids) in the body. The four humors are blood, pus, bile and black bile… Humors:
- Blood: in vessels, heart, arteries, veins, capillaries as well as reservoirs of liver, spleen, pancreas and uterus.
- Phlegm: lymph nodes, stomach, lung, respiratory tract, bronchi, brain, vertebral column, sinuses, and spleen.
- Yellow bile: gall bladder, liver, spleen, stomach, small intestine (all parts) and some capillaries.
- 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.