Home  ›   News  ›   Chinese Newspaper Article by World Journal: Cupping Craze and How Cupping Color Marks are Diagnostically Significant to the Prepared Eye [You Are Here]

Chinese Newspaper Article by World Journal: Cupping Craze and How Cupping Color Marks are Diagnostically Significant to the Prepared Eye

On August 13 2016, the World Journal, a Chinese newspaper in North America wrote two articles on UCLA Center for East-West Medicine and cupping. One of the articles, titled 'Cupping Craze and How Cupping Color Marks are Diagnostically Significant to the Prepared Eye', provides an introduction to the practice and explains the relevance of cupping mark colors.

The World Journal, a Chinese newspaper in North America wrote two articles on UCLA Center for East-West Medicine and cupping:

One of the article's title roughly translates to 'Phelps’ Use of Cupping Questioned by a Physician Writer of The Atlantic' in English and is briefly summarized in a few key points here.

WorldJournal_CuppingCrazeThe other article's title roughly translates to 'Cupping Craze and How Cupping Color Marks are Diagnostically Significant to the Prepared Eye' in English and is briefly summarized in a few key points:

  • Cupping is a healing modality that the Chinese use commonly
  • US Swimmer Michael Phelps' debut cupping marks in the 2016 Olympics garnered attention for cupping
  • The name for the healing modality is derived from the apparatus used
  • Director and Founder of the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine, Dr. Ka-Kit Hui remarks that Michael Phelps is a prime advocate for cupping
  • Dr. Hui explains that according to traditional Chinese medical theory, cupping, like acupuncture and scraping 'Gua Sha', can promote the flow of qi and thus, activate the body's innate healing response, which is akin to a wound healing itself
  • As cupping is uncommon in modern western society, there may be a lot of misunderstanding about it
  • An example was how scraping marks on children has been misconstrued as signs of domestic violence
  • Dr. Hui explains that cupping used correctly as part of a comprehensive treatment program, which looks at the patient as a whole, can be effective in pain management and various diseases
  • Clinical Specialist at the center, Lan Kao, LAc explains that the simplicity and effectiveness of cupping attracts people to it
  • Cupping has been used therapeutically for two thousand years
  • Lan Kao explains that according to traditional Chinese medical theory, cupping aims to warm acupuncture points and increase the flow of qi, thereby expelling cold and promoting blood circulation
  • Cupping facilitates repair and recovery for sore muscles by bringing metabolic waste, such as lactic acid, from cells and structures located deep in the body to more superficial parts of the body, so that it may be flushed out easier and to improve blood flow and healing in the stagnated structures located deep in the body
  • Contrary to popular belief, the goal of cupping is not to break capillaries and it is not the same as bruising. Cupping marks do not turn yellow-green like how bruises frequently do
  • The color of cupping marks vary with the type and severity of the injury or disease- darker marks indicate more severe conditions
  • Cupping may be used for diagnosis to indicate the location and severity of dysfunction
  • Tense muscles usually result in darker cupping marks whereas cupping for problems with the bones and the nerves do not tend to leave marks unless musculature is affected by these underlying problems
  • Cupping marks generally fade in 2-3 days but may take longer depending on the severity of the condition
  • It is ill-advised to leave cups connected to the skin for longer than 15 minutes as blistering may occur
  • Cupping is often used on the neck, shoulders and back areas as these are areas of high muscle tension
  • Cupping marks on smokers and drinkers tend to be darker
  • Cupping is generally used on areas with more muscles and should be avoided in areas with major blood vessels, such as in the abdomen
  • There is also a technique called 'Moving Cupping', in which an essential, massage or baby oil is applied and the cup is slid up and down an area
  • Cupping may also be combined with moxibustion, another traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) modality, which involves burning the mugwort herb, for a more warming effect
  • Bleeding, yet another TCM technique may also be incorporated with cupping
  • Dr. Hui comments that it is vital that bleeding in TCM, which only involves release of a few drops of blood is NOT to be confused  'blood-letting', a method used before the advent of modern medicine which involves releasing a large amount of blood
  • He also notes that it is crucial for TCM practitioners to pay extra attention to the patients' blood coagulation ability before performing bleeding

To view the full article in traditional Chinese, click here.

Previous Post:

Next Post: