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Electronic induction motor for Dry Cupping Vacuum Therapy, Tokyo, Japan, 1980-1990

Dry cupping stimulates the skin through suction. The skin remains unbroken. This electronic motor set was used for Dry Cupping Vacuum Therapy. It comes with 20 glass cupping vessels of varying grades. They were placed upon the skin. The appropriate amount of suction was then applied via the motor. Cupping was described as early as 281CE within Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Cupping in TCM aims to aid the circulation of stagnant qi energy and remove toxins from the body. Hollowed animal horns were originally used. These were replaced over time by bamboo and glass cups. The apparatus was made by Hitachi in Japan. It shows how modern technology has been incorporated into traditional techniques.

Object number:

2002-479

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    Glossary: cupping set

    Set of instruments to practice cupping. The purpose of cupping was to draw what was considered to be bad matter in the blood toward selected places in the body at the surface of the skin, away from vital organs.

    Glossary: cupping

    The application of a heated cup to the skin, creating a slight vacuum , which causes swelling of the tissues beneath and an increase in the flow of blood to the area. This was thought to draw out harmful excess blood from diseased organs nearby and so promote healing.

    Glossary: Traditional Chinese Medicine

    Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a medical tradition originating in China, but now used worldwide. Treatments include herbal medicine, massage and acupuncture, which are combined to create a therapy tailored to the patient.

    Glossary: motor

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