Pseudoscience Dictionary: Cupping Therapy

Cupping Therapy - Pseudoscience Dictionary - Debunk - Alt Health - Fake

Pseudoscience: Consists of statements, beliefs, or practices that are claimed to be both scientific and factual but are incompatible with the scientific method (unproven, not testable, or opposed to the consensus of traditional science).


Cupping Therapy

Definition: Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine in which a therapist puts special cups on your skin for a few minutes to create suction.

Reasoning: Cupping practitioners claim that it works by creating hyperemia or hemostasis around a person’s skin. This means that it either increases or decreases a person’s blood flow under the cups. They also claim it can suck out toxins, thereby promoting health. The best way to describe it is by giving a hickey with a cup. There currently isn’t evidence that it works. 

There is very little quality research on cupping, probably because it is an obvious scam. According to https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/cupping-olympic-pseudoscience/, “Cupping is a form of bloodletting.” They further state, “Cupping is no different than acupuncture, bloodletting, phrenology, or any other medical pseudoscience. The treatment is based in pre-scientific superstitions and has been rebranded to more effectively market the treatment to modern customers.”

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Conclusion: Cupping Therapy is considered a form of quackery and superstition similar to bloodletting that has little to no evidence of effectiveness. The minor side effects of bruising are not worth it considering there is no benefit.

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