The history of Chinese cupping dates back from the year 281 AD. It was an ancient Taoist medical practice and was widely used in the courts of Imperial China during those times. Its administration was first recorded by Ge Hong, in an ancient tract called Handbook of Prescriptions for Emergencies.
Ge Hong was a practicing Taoist, an alchemist, and a medicinal herbalist. He was famous during his time as an accomplished healer and a trusted confidante of many high officials in ancient China.
During those times, Ge Hong and other medicine men used animal horns for cupping. That is why in some medical tracts of the empire, cupping was referred to as the horn technique of healing.
Other ancient medicine men in the Arabian Desert and the Indian sub-continent also used cupping technique as one of their healing methods. However, their practices in these areas were recorded at a much later time.
This led researchers to believe that cupping was indeed a Chinese invention and its practice was older than stated in recorded history. There were horn implements that were discovered in the deep East Asian regions, especially in Northern China, Japan, and the Korean peninsula.
During the Tang Dynasty, cupping was the principal treatment for pulmonary tuberculosis. It was also used in conjunction with acupuncture and moxibustion. In fact, the three ancient medical practices became the standard treatment for chronic pulmonary diseases during the reign of the Tang Dynasty.
The ascension of the Qing Dynasty to the Imperial throne of China also saw the emergence of other tools used for cupping. Qing doctors experimented with bamboo cups and ceramic pottery. The practice came to be known as the fire jar qi. It started the introduction of the wet method of cupping.
The bamboo cups were usually boiled and these were placed on affected areas. These practices have been enshrined in the definitive medical tract called Supplement to Outline of Materia Medica by the famous physician Zhao Xuemin.
During the time of the Qing Dynasty, cupping technique and acupuncture were integrated into a single session therapy. Heated cups were normally placed over embedded acupuncture needles. It was also during these times that cupping was indicated for the treatment of common colds, back pains, knotted nerves and muscles, and arthralgia.
A variation of this technique was recorded in the Arabian Desert. Medicine men in those areas made small incisions on the areas to be cupped. It thus sucked bad blood from the body and helped cleanse the system of the patient. It probably draws inspiration from the Chinese cupping methodologies of the Qing Dynasty period.
The modern technique of Chinese cupping used glass and fine plastic cups. In the early 20th century, even common glass cups were used as vehicle for cupping therapies. The basic principles and indications of cupping remain the same as was originally practiced in ancient China.
Today, advanced implements are being used to administer cupping. Plastic cups with suction tubes are the commonly used implements. Air was pumped out from the cups using the suction tubes thus providing modern practitioners more convenience.
The history of Chinese cupping is a long history of healing and innovation. This ancient method has been proven effective against common disorders associated with the pulmonary system.
By Ivy Ling
Natural Cures for Diabetes
According to the American Diabetes Association, around 21 million people suffer from diabetes in the United States. A larger and larger percentage of these people are turning to natural cures for diabetes.
Currently there is no known cure but the general routine for a person that has been diagnosed is to alter their lifestyle, eating habits and exercise routine. There has been, however, some new research that has led to the belief that a cure for diabetes is found in alternative and natural medicine, not through traditional medicine, which has thus far failed to produce a cure. Natural treatments have shown a lot of promise in being able to reduce or stop this horrible disease.
Natural Medicine Defined
Natural medicine may also be called holistic medicine or alternative medicine. It is a medical path that is focused on using Eastern methods or folk medicine methods of treatment for diseases, injuries and other medical ailments. In most cases treatments are done with the thought that treating what is wrong needs to be done with a whole body approach and not just focusing in on the specific problem. Natural medicine does not involve the use of traditional medications. Instead it uses herbs, other natural substances and therapeutic methods to treat patients.
Acupuncture is something widely used in Eastern medicine. It is a concept based upon the idea that the body has several areas that when stimulated will affect the flow of energy in the body and help the body to naturally heal itself. The idea of energy is something widely used in Eastern medicine since the belief is that it is the energy flow of the body that determines overall health.
Acupuncture is used to help fix blood flow within the body and to improve the function of the pancreas. Different methods of treatment may be used by the acupuncturist when treating a patient with diabetes.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is something that has been long used in folk medicine. It is said to have great powers and be able to heal. Vinegar, specifically, has been proven to have an effect on blood sugar levels. In a patient with diabetes, supplements of apple cider vinegar can help to lower blood sugar, bringing about stability and stopping the need for medications.
Herbs are often used as well. There are many herbs that have shown to be effective in controlling the blood sugar levels. Some of the herbs used include aloe vera, cinnamon and garlic.
Natural approaches to curing diabetes are not something that many doctors will accept. Most likely a doctor will push a patient to start taking medications and to use other methods of treatment. They do this simply because they are on the side of science and anything that can't be proved beyond a doubt in a lab is not something they want to back.
Natural methods are very difficult, sometimes impossible to prove, but that does not mean they are not effective. For someone looking to cure their diabetes, though, using natural methods along with proper diet and exercise is one of the best ways.
Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine that encourages natural lower back pain relief while healing and improving body functions. This treatment is administered by insertion and manipulation of hair thin needles into the body and by applying electric stimulation at particular acupuncture points. This procedure is widely used today in the west as a solution for pain relief for the back.
How the procedure works
The typical Chinese medicine explanation for acupuncture is that is relays energy in regular modes through and over the body’s surface. These channels act like streams of water flowing through the body to hydrate and nourish the cells and tissues. A hindrance to the free movement of the energies behaves like a blocked dam. These channels can be influenced by inserting needles that help unblock the "dam" blockages and reinstate the regular flow of energies through the channels. This procedure helps correct imbalances in digestion, energy production activities, absorption, and the overall energy circulation through the channels.
It is scientifically explained that acupuncture needle points stimulate the nervous system releasing chemicals to the muscles of the spinal cord and brain resulting in pain relief for the back. The chemicals work by changing the whole pain experience or trigger the release of other hormones and chemicals that influence the body’s internal regulating system. In the end, the body’s natural healing abilities are enhanced promoting ones overall well being.
Conditions best suited to treat with acupuncture
The procedure is performed by specially trained practitioners either as stand alone form of treatment or in combination with other methods of treating lower back pain. This treatment influences three major areas of an individual’s health; these include illness prevention, treatment of various conditions and promotion of the overall health.
This treatment is related to lower back pain control while it has broader medical applications that can be explained in clearer details by an acupuncture practitioner. These are:
Menstrual, urinary, and reproductive disorders
Respiratory conditions like sore throat, sinusitis, bronchitis, recurrent chest infections, and asthma
Digestive tract conditions like , diarrhea, spastic, colon gastritis, and hyper-acidity
Muscular and neurological disorders that include headaches, neck pains, lower back pain frozen shoulder, facial tics, sciatica, osteoarthritis, tennis elbow, and various forms of tendinitis.
Emotional and tension related physical problems.
Benefits in pain relief for the back
When one is looking for pain relief for the back, then they may consider acupuncture which has a track record running over 2000 years. The procedure relaxes the body muscles relieving lower back pain while stimulating the body to heal itself. Daily stresses accrued to the body through lack of exercise trauma and poor diet weaken the immune system leaving one susceptible to illnesses and bodily pains and aches. Acupuncture helps in improving blood circulation removing blockages to the affected areas that are functioning insufficiently and easing lower back pain.
Pregnancy discomfort consisting of pelvic and lower back pain are also treated effectively with acupuncture. Studies have shown that about 25% of pregnant women seek medical attention for lower back pain related to pregnancy. The basic treatment given that may include physical therapy has proved to be effective in relieving lower back pain during pregnancy and after delivery. Acupuncture is a great alternative to conventional treatments for pain relief for the back and has very limited risks to it.