Cupping 拔罐法 Ba Guan Fa

Ba means pull, suck out, draw. Guan means jar, pot. Fa means method.

Method
A method of treatment involving the application of suction to the skin.
There are several applications;

Retaining cupping
-leaving the cup in place for 10  – 20 mins
-one or more cups may be used
-this is the most common method and applicable for all conditions indicated for cupping

Flash cupping
-attaching and immediately removing
-this is repeated several times
-for treating numbness, or for xu syndromes

Moving cupping
-once attached the cup is slid around over an area
-this is useful for treating obstructions to channels and collaterals, qi and blood stasis, stop cough, expel external pathogens

Cupping over a needle
-for deep, intractable diseases
-for disorders of the zang fu

Blood letting and cupping
-after pricking the skin with a 3 edged needle or plum blossom hammer, apply a cup
-this is particularly useful for any problems from qi and blood stasis

Medicinals cupping
-soak bamboo cups in a boiling decoction, remove and apply to the skin
-this is also done with glass jars, but using unvarnished bamboo allows some absorption      of the decoction by the cup
-often used to treat bi syndrome
-a common prescription is 6 grams each of ma huang, ai ye, fang feng, qin jiao, mu   gua, (sheng) fu zi, ru xiang, mo yao, hua jiao, du duo, herba serrisae

Functions
-to promote the circulation of qi and blood
-stop pain
-subdue swelling
-expel wind, cold , damp

Indications
-wind, cold, damp bi syndrome, including such things as;
-fibromyalgia
-degenerative joint disease
-rheumatoid arthritis
-ankylosing spondylitis
-post menopausal osteoporosis
-gout
-low back pain
-sciatica
-neck pain
-other joint pain
-wei syndrome, including such things as;
-poliomyelitis
-myasthenia gravis
-motor-neurone disease
-multiple sclerosis
-muscular dystrophy
-acute or chronic soft tissue injury, including such things as;
-acute low back pain
-tendinosinovitis
-torticollis
-repetitive stress injury
-acute sprains and strain
-furuncle, carbuncle, early stages of ulcers
-common cold, cough and influenza
-stomach ache, abdominal pain
-facial paralysis

Reminders to patients
-the mouth of the cup should be smooth so as not to abrade the skin
-the mouth of the cup should not be heated so as to burn the skin on application
-gently release the vacuum when removing the cup
-use appropriate sized cups to best suit the location
-there may be sha after cupping and the area can be tender with a feeling of local warmth
-most of the sha will fade over 2-3 days
-if it takes less time it indicates good circulation, longer it may indicate poor circulation
-if it is dark it may indicate blood stasis
-patients should keep this area covered and not expose it to direct sunlight or wind
-patients often notice an immediate improvement in range of motion and a decrease in pain
-they should be encouraged not to immediately resume normal activities, but continue to rest the area
-patients should record how they feel for the next few days, recording the return of   pain, or loss of range of motion, any other changes, improvements etc.
-where gua sha (tui na, cupping, poultices and compresses, etc.) is used to release the exterior, relieve pain and increase range of motion, etc. it is generally recommended that patients avoid cold foods and drinks as they can harden and cause stagnation and           may aggravate the pain
-patients should also avoid sour tasting food as it may astringe and contract potentially aggravating the pain
-care should be taken in patients with deficiency