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What is Cupping Therapy?


Cupping therapy, which is one of the modern physical therapy methods, has become popular as one of the complementary and traditional treatment applications in the world and in our country in recent years and is applied as a complementary treatment in different parts of the world in chronic diseases that do not respond to conventional treatment.

Although cupping therapy is applied in different ways, it is basically performed as wet (hijama) and dry cupping therapy. In both applications, the cups are placed on the skin by creating negative pressure and make room for new oxygenated blood in the extracellular area under the skin.

In the treatment of wet cupping (hijama), blood is taken out by making scratches on the skin.

Application Methods


While horn, pottery, metal and bamboo were used as cups in the past, disposable glass and PVC (hard plastic) ones are more preferred today.

In cupping treatment, cups are placed first, the skin swells with the negative pressure created, and hyperemia occurs. After about 5 minutes, the cups are taken. If hijama is to be applied, scratches are made on these areas, the cups are placed by creating negative pressure again and the liquid is discharged. Hijama is actually a combination of dry cupping and wet cupping therapy.

Fire or manual pump is used to create negative pressure on the applied area. It is thought that the flame will create uncontrolled pressure and cause capillary damage. Manual pressure system is a preferred method because the intensity of the vacuum can be controlled.

The application technique is also very important in terms of effectiveness. The upper layer of the skin is the epidermis, and the lower layer is the dermis. There are capillaries in the dermo-epidermal area. It is recommended that the scratches on the skin be superficial (such as 0.1‐02 mm), not traumatizing the capillaries as much as possible while opening the skin barrier, and expelling the fluid, especially in the interstitial area.

The amount of blood excreted during the application of hijama varies according to the patient, and its therapeutic effect is not related to the amount of blood. There are different mug applications; In the movable cup, cream/oil is applied to the applied area, the cup is placed and moved to certain areas.

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