Fire Cupping Techique; Dry cupping, Wet cupping

Fire Cupping Technique

Cupping is easy to perform. There are several techniques for placing the suction

cups. The following cupping technique by means of a flame of fire is

simple and proven.

Fire Cupping

• At the beginning of cupping, dip the cotton ball into the bottle of alcohol

until it is soaked and then gently squeeze it out at the bottle

rim to prevent excess alcohol from falling down in the form of burning

drops. Now you light the cotton ball, take a suction cup into your

hand, and insert the burning cotton ball as quickly as possible and as

close to the treatment site as possible into the cup and back out again. Attention! You should not heat the cup itself, but only

the air inside.

• The rim of the cup may not be heated under any circumstances. Immediately

after taking the cotton ball back out, you must place the

cup onto the skin and push down lightly. Thereafter, the cotton ball

is quenched. Then you cover the patient and let the cups—in adults

10–15 minutes, in children 5–10 minutes—do their work 

• After this time period, you remove the cups by gently pressing down

the skin at the edge of the cup with the fingers of one hand while

picking up the cup with the other hand.

• The patient should rest covered for a few more minutes after the


When treating large areas of skin with cupping, the patient should lie down

during treatment. Nevertheless, there are also cupping sites for which the

patient must be treated sitting upright (e.g., the shoulder joint).

Body hair must be shaved off at the cupping sites. In addition, you should

pay attention to the patient’s and your own hair to prevent potential damage

by the fire.

Fire Cupping

The Technique of Cupping Massage

Massage as such has been used as a form of therapy for thousands of years. In

our times, it has acquired strict anatomical foundations and as a result, we

obtain excellent results with specifically directed massage.

An alternative form of massage is one that utilizes a suction cup. This is a

specialized technique that functions, just like cupping itself, as segmental

and regulation therapy. It also produces hyperemia and extravasates. This

type of treatment has a deeper effect than traditional hand massage

Cupping massage has the effect of increasing circulation throughout the

treatment site, promoting metabolism, and therefore the nourishment of tissue

there. In addition, cupping massage removes accumulated flakes of epidermis

and thereby increases its permeability and skin respiration.

The effects of cupping massage on the muscles are more mechanical: by

promoting the drainage of blood and lymph, it stimulates the metabolism

and has a positive effect on the body as a whole. The body’s resistance is

strengthened and self-regulation of the disturbed bodily functions is initiated.

The indications for cupping massage are basically identical to those of cupping.

It is particularly suited for the following conditions:

Fire Cupping

• Muscle disorders.

• Impaired circulation.

• Headache/migraine.

• Rheumatic and arthritic joint disorders.

• Disorders of the spinal column.

• Acne.

• Neuralgic pains.

• Bronchial asthma (good results by cupping massage in combination with

standard cupping therapy).

• For sliding the cup, apply massage oil or ointment to the surface of

the skin at the treatment site. Then place the suction cup on the skin

as in dry cupping and push and pull it on the body surface, possibly

also moving it in circles.

• When the skin at the treatment site has turned reddish or bluish,

finish the massage. Hereby, extravasates can form on the whole treated

area. The massage lasts approximately 3 minutes.

• Sometimes the suction cup falls off repeatedly during the massage.

In spite of this, you can continue with the massage, employing the

cup with light pressure as in standard treatment

Indications for Dry Cupping

The therapeutic applications of cupping are quite extensive because it is not

rooted in the pharmacological effect of a few medications but affects the organism

as a whole in the sense of stimulus therapy. .

Contraindications for Dry Cupping

There are only few cases where dry cupping is contraindicated. In pregnant

women up to the fourth month of pregnancy, dry cupping should not be

performed (risk of miscarriage!). Limited therapy in tuberculosis and all

kinds of tumors is advisable. Here, we must not, of course, place any cups

on those sections of the skin that are located above the tumors or organs affected

by tuberculosis. Nevertheless, dry cupping on other parts of the body

is allowed.

Wet Cupping

Like bloodletting, wet cupping is a type of blood-extracting therapy. It works

not only by extracting blood, but also by dissipating and regulating. The regulating

effect is caused by two factors. First, the loss of blood serves as a stimulus

to the bone marrow and initiates the formation of new erythrocytes as

well as an increase in leukocytes. Second, the withdrawal of blood changes

the quality of the blood, for example, by reducing viscosity and thereby improving

its properties of flow, which has a positive effect on the tissue environment

and corresponding biochemical processes. The result is a general stimulation

of the entire organism.

Two methods exist for performing bloody cupping.

Method A

• In the first option, the location on the skin where blood is to be

extracted is cleaned with a disinfectant and the scarificator is positioned firmly. The blades simultaneously produce several small incisions, 1 cm long and 4 mm deep. The suction cup is placed on top of these as in dry cupping, to suck the blood out of the scratch wounds.

Method B

• In the second version of wet cupping, locations that have just been

treated with dry cupping are cleaned with a disinfectant and the cupping

site is then scratched with the scarificator. After this, the suction

cups are positioned on the same locations.

Allow the cups to suck for 10–15 minutes.

• A suction cup sucks ca. 20 mL of blood. Depending on how much

blood you want to extract, conclude the extraction of blood after

the first cupping session or place the cups back again on the same locations.

• The amount of blood to be extracted depends for the most part on

the patient’s pathologic condition, age, constitution, and state of

health. Normally, you extract ca. 50–300 mL of blood, that is, you

use 2–15 medium-sized suction cups.

• After cupping is finished, you swab the skin again with a disinfectant

and dress it with ointment and a bandage. The patient should rest

for up to 20 minutes afterwards.

If required, wet cupping can be repeated in intervals of 48 weeks

Wet cupping is also an option in:

• Apoplexy.

• Bronchial asthma, chronic, if it is not purely allergic.

• High blood pressure.

• States of severe fever (pneumonia, influenza).

• Gastritis.

• Headache.

• Polyemia (polycythemia) and so on.

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