Cupping Therapy is a form of alternative medicine in which a local suction is created on the skin with the application of heated cups. Its practice mainly occurs in Asia but also in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America. As with all alternative medicine, cupping has been characterized as a pseudoscience and its practice as quackery.
Cupping practitioners attempt to use cupping therapy for a wide array of medical conditions including fevers, chronic low back pain, poor appetite, indigestion, high blood pressure, acne, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, anemia, stroke rehabilitation, nasal congestion, infertility, and menstrual period cramping. Despite the numerous ailments for which practitioners claim cupping therapy is useful, there is insufficient evidence it has any health benefits and there are some risks of harm, especially from wet cupping and fire cupping. Bruising and skin discoloration are among the adverse effects of cupping and are sometimes mistaken for child abuse. In rare instances, the presence of these marks on children has led to legal action against parents who had their children receive cupping therapy.
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