Craniosacral therapy is a form of bodywork or alternative therapy using gentle touch to palpate the synarthrodial joints of the cranium. A practitioner of cranial-sacral therapy may apply light touches to a patient's spine and pelvic bones. Practitioners say that this palpation regulates the flow of cerebrospinal fluid and aids in "primary respiration". CST has been characterized as pseudoscience, its practice called quackery. According to the American Cancer Society, although CST may relieve the symptoms of stress or tension, "available scientific evidence does not support claims that craniosacral therapy helps in treating cancer or any other disease". Cranial osteopathy has no scientific basis for any claimed benefit. Craniosacral therapy was developed by John Upledger, D. O. in the 1970s, as an offshoot osteopathy in the cranial field, or cranial osteopathy, developed in the 1930s by William Garner Sutherland. According to the American Cancer Society, although CST may relieve the symptoms of stress or tension, "available scientific evidence does not support claims that craniosacral therapy helps in treating cancer or any other disease".
Cranial osteopathy has received a similar assessment, with one 1990 paper finding there was no scientific basis for any of the practitioners' claims the paper examined. In October 2012 Edzard Ernst conducted a systematic review of randomized clinical trials of craniosacral therapy, he concluded that "the notion that CST is associated with more than non-specific effects is not based on evidence from rigorous randomised clinical trials." Commenting on this conclusion, Ernst commented on his blog that he had chosen the wording as "a polite and scientific way of saying that CST is bogus." Ernst commented that the quality of five of the six trials he had reviewed was "deplorably poor", a sentiment that echoed an August 2012 review that noted the "moderate methodological quality of the included studies."Ernst criticized a 2011 systematic review performed by Jakel and von Hauenschild for inclusion of observational studies and including studies with healthy volunteers. This review concluded that the evidence base surrounding craniosacral therapy and its efficacy was sparse and composed of studies with heterogeneous design.
The authors of this review stated that available evidence was insufficient to draw conclusions. The evidence base for CST lacks a demonstrated biologically plausible mechanism. In the absence of rigorous, well-designed randomized controlled trials, it has been characterized as pseudoscience, its practice called quackery; the therapist palpates the patient's body, focuses intently on the communicated movements. A practitioner's feeling of being in tune with a patient is described as entrainment. Patients report feelings of deep relaxation during and after the treatment session, may feel light-headed. While sometimes thought to be caused by an increase in endorphins, research shows the effects may be brought about by the endocannabinoid system. There are few reports of adverse events from CST treatment. In one study of craniosacral manipulation in patients with traumatic brain syndrome, the incidence of adverse effects from treatment was 5%. Cranial osteopathy, a forerunner of CST, was originated by osteopath William Sutherland in 1898–1900.
While looking at a disarticulated skull, Sutherland was struck by the idea that the cranial sutures of the temporal bones where they meet the parietal bones were "beveled, like the gills of a fish, indicating articular mobility for a respiratory mechanism."John Upledger devised CST. Comparing it to cranial osteopathy he wrote: "Dr. Sutherland's discovery regarding the flexibility of skull sutures led to the early research behind CranioSacral Therapy – and both approaches affect the cranium and coccyx – the similarities end there." However, modern day cranial osteopaths consider the two practices to be the same, but that cranial osteopathy has "been taught to non-osteopaths under the name CranialSacro therapy."Practitioners of both cranial osteopathy and craniosacral therapy assert that there are small, rhythmic motions of the cranial bones attributed to cerebrospinal fluid pressure or arterial pressure. The premise of CST is that palpation of the cranium can be used to detect this rhythmic movement of the cranial bones and selective pressures may be used to manipulate the cranial bones to achieve a therapeutic result.
However, the degree of mobility and compliance of the cranial bones is considered controversial and is a critically important concept in craniosacral therapy. From 1975 to 1983, Upledger and neurophysiologist and histologist Ernest W. Retzlaff worked at Michigan State University as clinical researchers and professors, they assembled a research team to investigate the purported pulse and further study Sutherland's theory of cranial bone movement. Upledger and Retzlaff went on to publish their results, which they interpreted as support for both the concept of cranial bone movement, the concept of a cranial rhythm. Reviews of these studies have concluded that their research did not meet enduring standards to offer conclusive proof for the effectiveness of craniosacral therapy and the existence of cranial bone movement
Crystal healing is a pseudoscientific alternative medicine technique that uses semiprecious stones and crystals such as quartz, amethyst or opals. Adherents of the technique claim that these have healing powers, although there is no scientific basis for this claim. In one method, the practitioner places crystals on different parts of the body corresponding to chakras. Despite this, scientific investigations have not validated claims that chakras or energy grids exist, nor is there any evidence that crystal healing has any greater effect upon the body than any other placebo. Precious stones have been thought of as healing objects by a variety of cultures worldwide. Crystal healing is associated with the New Age spiritual movement: "the middle-class New Age healing activity par excellence". In contrast with other forms of complementary and alternative medicine, participants in crystal healing view the practice as "individuated", i.e. dependent on extreme personalization and creative expression.
Practitioners of crystal healing purport that certain physical properties—e.g. Shape and markings—determine the ailments that a stone can heal. Paradoxically, practitioners "hold the view that crystals have no intrinsic qualities but that, their quality changes according to both" participants. After selecting the stones by color or their believed metaphysical qualities, they place them on parts of the body. Color selection and placement of stones are done according to concepts of grounding, chakras, or energy grids. Many other cultures have developed traditions of crystal healing over time, including the Hopi Native Americans of Arizona and Hawaiian islanders, some of whom continued to use it as of 1997; the Chinese have traditionally attributed healing powers to microcrystalline jade. There is no peer-reviewed scientific evidence. Alleged successes of crystal healing can be attributed to the placebo effect. Furthermore, there is no scientific basis for the concepts of chakras, being "blocked", energy grids requiring grounding, or other such terms.
Energy, as a scientific term, is a well-defined concept, measurable and bears little resemblance to the esoteric concept of energy used by proponents of crystal healing. In 1999, researchers French and Williams conducted a study to investigate the power of crystals compared with a placebo. Eighty volunteers were asked to meditate with either a quartz crystal, or a placebo stone, indistinguishable from quartz. Many of the participants reported feeling typical "crystal effects". In 2001 Christopher French, head of the anomalistic psychology research unit at the University of London and colleagues from Goldsmiths College outlined their study of crystal healing at the British Psychological Society Centenary Annual Conference, concluding "There is no evidence that crystal healing works over and above a placebo effect.”Crystal healing effects could be attributed to cognitive bias. Crystal healing techniques are practiced on animals, although some veterinary organizations, such as the British Veterinary Association, have warned that these methods are not scientifically proven and state that people should seek the advice of a vet before using alternative techniques.
Color healing Energy medicine Magnet therapy List of topics characterized as pseudoscience Lawrence E. Jerome.. Crystal Power: The Ultimate Placebo Effect. Prometheus Books. ISBN 978-0-87975-514-0 Crystal Healing: Stone-cold Facts About Gemstone Treatments - LiveScience James Randi debunks Crystal Power
Black salve known by the brand name Cansema, is a dangerous and controversial alternative cancer treatment. The product is classified as an escharotic—a topical paste which burns and destroys skin tissue and leaves behind a thick, black scar called an eschar. Escharotics were used to treat skin lesions in the early 1900s, but have since been replaced by safer and more effective treatments. Escharotics, such as black salves, are advertised by some alternative medicine marketers as treatments for skin cancer with unsubstantiated testimonials and unproven claims of effectiveness; the U. S. Food and Drug Administration has listed Cansema as a "fake cancer cure" and warns consumers to avoid it. Cancer salves were first documented as a form of quackery in a 1955 Time article: "A 37-year-old housewife had a skin condition that proved not to be a cancer. Convinced that it was, she had gone to a backwoods healer. Soon a quarter-sized hole disfigured her nose, opened up the nasal cavity. Duke's plastic surgeons had to build her a new nose."
Although more recent reports document that some alternative medicine practitioners use the internet to market escharotics as purported "cures" for skin cancer, they are not recommended as treatments for skin lesions or skin cancer by medical authorities. The effectiveness of escharotics is unproven, while safer and more effective conventional treatments exist for skin cancers, such as: cryotherapy. Escharotics can cause serious damage to normal skin, their manufacture is unregulated, so the strength and purity of marketed products are unknown and unverified. Numerous reports in the medical literature describe serious consequences of using escharotics in place of standard treatments for skin cancer, ranging from disfigurement to preventable cancer recurrences; the website Quackwatch posted a warning against the use of escharotics in 2008, with a collection of sourced documents compiling issues of patient injury from their use. A more recent study revealed that many individuals who have used black salve were unaware of its potential dangers.
In a 2016 news release titled "Beware of black salve," the American Academy of Dermatology urged patients to consult a dermatologist before using home remedies for skin cancers. Furthermore, individuals increase their risk of further complications or death if they choose to delay conventional medical treatment to attempt treatment with black salve. In 2017, a patient with breast cancer posted photos and updates to a black salve research group as she progressed through her black salve applications. Despite her worsening condition, she believed that the black salve was going to cure her cancer. “And please no comments to see a doctor. I’ve been there; this is my path and I trust in it and my God, healing me”, she wrote. She sought conventional treatment, but died of a prolonged infection some months later, it was reported in 2018. In a similar black salve discussion group, people described the use of black salve on their cats and horses. Over the course of eight months, one member posted photos of the black salve's ongoing effects on her dog's nasal cancer, whilst another documented and questioned its use on her horse.
In 2018 in Australia black salve has been linked to the death of Helen Lawson who decided to use "natural remedies" under the direction of Dennis Wayne Jensen. Jensen advocated covering Lawson's abdomen in black salve claiming it would draw out the ovarian cancer, leaving Lawson with a mass of wounds on her abdomen: “You have never seen anything like what happened to Helen, it is so confronting,” she said. “Literally above her pubic bone, all across her abdomen up to her rib cage, she was raw, mutilated bubbling flesh.”Belinda said that within a few weeks of Helen applying the black salve the wound was so large that surgeons could not have operated if they had wanted to. Lawson died in April 2018. Subsequently, Jensen was issued an interim prohibition order, by the Health Complaints Commissioner, forbidding practicing any health services whilst the death of Lawson is being investigated; this was pursuant to section 90 of the Health Complaints Act 2016 Common ingredients of black salves include zinc chloride and bloodroot, a plant used in herbal medicine.
The extract of bloodroot is called sanguinarine, a quaternary alkaloid which attacks and destroys living tissue and is classified as an escharotic. Other formulations include the four ingredients: Red Clover, Sheep Sorrel, Blood Root, crushed into a paste using mortar and pestle; this is applied sparingly to the affected area, kept covered for 2-3 days. The Therapeutic Goods Administration of Australia is advising consumers against purchasing or using black salve, red salve or cansema products; the TGA has found the Australian Vaccination-Skeptics Network in breach of advertising regulations, in a separate finding the AVN's former president Meryl Dorey together with Leon Pittard of Fair Dinkum Radio were found to be in breach. Cansema is listed by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration as one of 187 fake cancer cures. Cansema continues to be marketed by numerous individuals, as evidenced by recent FDA Warning Letters; the FDA has taken enforcement action against illegal marketing of Cansema as a cancer cure, as in the 2004 arrest and conviction of Greg Caton.
The FDA has taken an active role in the banning of these chemicals for
History of alternative medicine
The history of alternative medicine refers to the history of a group of diverse medical practices that were collectively promoted as "alternative medicine" beginning in the 1970s, to the collection of individual histories of members of that group, or to the history of western medical practices that were labeled "irregular practices" by the western medical establishment. It includes the histories of integrative medicine. "Alternative medicine" is a loosely defined and diverse set of products and theories that are perceived by its users to have the healing effects of medicine, but do not originate from evidence gathered using the scientific method, are not part of biomedicine, or are contradicted by scientific evidence or established science. "Biomedicine" is that part of medical science that applies principles of anatomy, chemistry, biology and other natural sciences to clinical practice, using scientific methods to establish the effectiveness of that practice. Much of what is now categorized as alternative medicine was developed as independent, complete medical systems, was developed long before biomedicine and use of scientific methods, was developed in isolated regions of the world where there was little or no medical contact with pre-scientific western medicine, or with each other's systems.
Examples are Traditional Chinese medicine, European humoral theory and the Ayurvedic medicine of India. Other alternative medicine practices, such as homeopathy, were developed in western Europe and in opposition to western medicine, at a time when western medicine was based on unscientific theories that were dogmatically imposed by western religious authorities. Homeopathy was developed prior to discovery of the basic principles of chemistry, which proved homeopathic remedies contained nothing but water, but homeopathy, with its remedies made of water, was harmless compared to the unscientific and dangerous orthodox western medicine practiced at that time, which included use of toxins and draining of blood resulting in permanent disfigurement or death. Other alternative practices such as chiropractic and osteopathic manipulative medicine, were developed in the United States at a time that western medicine was beginning to incorporate scientific methods and theories, but the biomedical model was not yet dominant.
Practices such as chiropractic and osteopathic, each considered to be irregular by the medical establishment opposed each other, both rhetorically and politically with licensing legislation. Osteopathic practitioners added the courses and training of biomedicine to their licensing, licensed Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine holders began diminishing use of the unscientific origins of the field, without the original practices and theories, is now considered the same as biomedicine; until the 1970s, western practitioners that were not part of the medical establishment were referred to "irregular practitioners", were dismissed by the medical establishment as unscientific or quackery. Irregular practice became marginalized as quackery and fraud, as western medicine incorporated scientific methods and discoveries, had a corresponding increase in success of its treatments. In the 1970s, irregular practices were grouped with traditional practices of nonwestern cultures and with other unproven or disproven practices that were not part of biomedicine, with the group promoted as being "alternative medicine".
Following the counterculture movement of the 1960s, misleading marketing campaigns promoting "alternative medicine" as being an effective "alternative" to biomedicine, with changing social attitudes about not using chemicals, challenging the establishment and authority of any kind, sensitivity to giving equal measure to values and beliefs of other cultures and their practices through cultural relativism, adding postmodernism and deconstructivism to ways of thinking about science and its deficiencies, with growing frustration and desperation by patients about limitations and side effects of science-based medicine, use of alternative medicine in the west began to rise had explosive growth beginning in the 1990s, when senior level political figures began promoting alternative medicine, began diverting government medical research funds into research of alternative and integrative medicine. The concept of alternative medicine is problematic as it cannot exist autonomously as an object of study in its own right but must always be defined in relation to a non-static and transient medical orthodoxy.
It divides medicine into two realms, a medical mainstream and fringe, which, in privileging orthodoxy, presents difficulties in constructing an historical analysis independent of the biased and polemical views of regular medical practitioners. The description of non-conventional medicine as alternative reinforces both its marginality and the centrality of official medicine. Although more neutral than either pejorative or promotional designations such as “quackery” or “natural medicine”, cognate terms like “unconventional”, “heterodox”, “unofficial”, “irregular”, "folk", "popular", "marginal", “complementary”, “integrative” or “unorthodox” define their object against the standard of conventional biomedicine, entail particular perspectives and judgements carry moral overtones, can be inaccurate. Conventional medical practitioners in the West have, since the nineteenth century, used some of these and similar terms as a means of defining the boundary of "legitimate" medicine, marking the division between that, scientific and that, not.
The definition of mainstream medicine understood to refer to a system of licensed medicine which enjoys state and legal protection in a jurisdiction, is al
Animal magnetism known as mesmerism, was the name given by German doctor Franz Mesmer in the 18th century to what he believed to be an invisible natural force possessed by all living things, including humans and vegetables. He believed that the force could have physical effects, including healing, he tried persistently but without success to achieve scientific recognition of his ideas; the vitalist theory attracted numerous followers in Europe and the United States and was popular into the 19th century. Practitioners were known as magnetizers rather than mesmerists, it was an important specialty in medicine for about 75 years from its beginnings in 1779, continued to have some influence for another 50 years. Hundreds of books were written on the subject between 1766 and 1925, but it is entirely forgotten today. Mesmerism is still practised as a form of alternative medicine in some countries, but magnetic practices are not recognized as part of medical science; the terms "magnetizer" and "mesmerizer" have been applied to people who study and practice animal magnetism.
These terms have been distinguished from "mesmerist" and "magnetist", which are regarded as denoting those who study animal magnetism without being practitioners. The etymology of the word magnetizer comes from the French "magnetiseur", which in turn is derived from the French verb magnetiser; the term refers to an individual who has the power to manipulate the "magnetic fluid" with effects upon other people present that were regarded as analogous to magnetic effects. This sense of the term is found, for example, in the expression of Antoine Joseph Gorsas: "The magnetizer is the imam of vital energy". A tendency emerged amongst British magnetizers to call their clinical techniques "mesmerism". At the time, some magnetizers attempted to channel what they thought was a magnetic "fluid", sometimes they attempted this with a "laying on of hands". Reported effects included various feelings: intense heat, trembling and seizures. Many practitioners took a scientific approach, such as Joseph Philippe François Deleuze, a French physician, anatomist and physicist.
One of his pupils was Théodore Léger, who wrote that the label "mesmerism" was "most improper".. Noting that, by 1846, the term "galvanism" had been replaced by "electricity", Léger wrote that year: Mesmerism, of all the names proposed, is decidedly the most improper, he is not the inventor of the practical part of the science, since we can trace the practice of it through the most remote ages. He proposed for it a theory, now exploded, which, on account of his errors, has been fatal to our progress, he never spoke of the phenomena. In 1784 a French Royal Commission appointed by Louis XVI studied Mesmer's magnetic fluid theory to try to establish it by scientific evidence; the commission included Majault, Benjamin Franklin, Jean Sylvain Bailly, Jean-Baptiste Le Roy, Jean Darcet, de Borey, Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, Antoine Lavoisier, Caille, Mauduyt de la Varenne, de Jussieu. Whilst the commission agreed that the cures claimed by Mesmer were indeed cures, it concluded there was no evidence of the existence of his "magnetic fluid", that its effects derived from either the imaginations of its subjects or charlatanry.
A second investigating committee, appointed by a majority vote in 1826 in The Royal Academy of Medicine in Paris, studied the effects and clinical potentials of the mesmeric procedure - without trying to establish the physical nature of any magnetic fluidum. The report says: what we have seen in the course of our experiments bears no sort of resemblance to what the Report of 1784 relates with regard to the magnetizers of that period. We neither reject the existence of the fluid, because we have not verified the fact. We do not speak of... the crisis Among the conclusions were: Magnetism has taken effect upon persons of different sexes and ages.... In general, magnetism does not act upon persons in a sound state of health.... Neither does it act upon all sick persons.... We may conclude with certainty that this state exists, when it gives rise to the development of new faculties, which have been designated by the names of clairvoyance. We can not only act upon the magnetized person, but place him in a complete state of somnambulism, bring him out of it without his knowledge, out of his sight, at a certain distance, with doors intervening....
The greater number of the somnambu
Ear candling called ear coning or thermal-auricular therapy, is an alternative medicine practice claimed to improve general health and well-being by lighting one end of a hollow candle and placing the other end in the ear canal. Medical research has shown that the practice is both dangerous and ineffective and does not help remove earwax or toxicants. Edzard Ernst has published critically on the subject of ear candles, noting, "There is no data to suggest that it is effective for any condition. Furthermore, ear candles have been associated with ear injuries; the inescapable conclusion is. Their use should be discouraged."According to the US Food and Drug Administration, ear candling is sometimes promoted with claims that the practice can "purify the blood" or "cure" cancer, but that Health Canada has determined the candles have no effect on the ear, no health benefit. In October 2007, US FDA issued an alert identifying ear candles as "dangerous to health when used in the dosage or manner, or with the frequency or duration, recommended, or suggested in the labeling thereof"... "since the use of a lit candle in the proximity of a person's face would carry a high risk of causing severe skin/hair burns and middle ear damage."A 2007 paper in the journal Canadian Family Physician concludes: Ear candling appears to be popular and is advertised with claims that could seem scientific to lay people.
However, its claimed mechanism of action has not been verified, no positive clinical effect has been reliably recorded, it is associated with considerable risk. No evidence suggests. On this basis, we believe it can do more harm than good and we recommend that GPs discourage its use. A 2007 paper in American Family Physician said: Ear candling should be avoided. Ear candling is a practice in which a hollow candle is inserted into the external auditory canal and lit, with the patient lying on the opposite ear. In theory, the combination of heat and suction is supposed to remove earwax. However, in one trial, ear candles neither created suction nor removed wax and led to occlusion with candle wax in persons who had clean ear canals. Primary care physicians may see complications from ear candling including candle wax occlusion, local burns, tympanic membrane perforation; the Spokane Ear and Throat Clinic conducted a research study in 1996 which concluded that ear candling does not produce negative pressure and was ineffective in removing wax from the ear canal.
Several studies have shown that ear candles produce the same residue when burnt without ear insertion and that the residue is candle wax and soot. As of 2008, there are at least two cases in which people have set their houses on fire while ear candling, one of which resulted in death. A survey of ENT surgeons found some. Burns were the most common. One end of a cylinder or cone of waxed cloth is lit, the other is placed into the subject's ear; the flame is cut back with scissors and extinguished between five and ten centimeters from the subject. The subject is lying on one side with the candle vertical; the candle can be stuck through a paper plate or aluminium pie tin to protect against any hot wax or ash falling onto the subject. Another way to perform ear candling involves the subject lying face up with the ear candle extending out to the side with a forty-five-degree upward slant. A dish of water is placed next to the subject under the ear candle. Proponents claim that the flame creates negative pressure, drawing wax and debris out of the ear canal, which appears as a dark residue.
An ear candling session lasts up to one hour, during which one or two ear candles may be burned for each ear. In Europe, some ear candles bear the CE mark, though they are self-issued by the manufacturer; this mark indicates that the device is designed and manufactured so as not to compromise the safety of patients, but no independent testing is required as proof. While ear candles are available in the U. S. selling or importing them with medical claims is illegal. This means that one cannot market ear candles as products that "Diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease". In a report, Health Canada states "There is no scientific proof to support claims that ear candling provides medical benefits.... However, there is plenty of proof that ear candling is dangerous." It says that while some people claim to be selling the candles "for entertainment purposes only", the Canadian government maintains that there is no reasonable non-medical use, hence any sale of the devices is illegal in Canada. In a paper published by Edzard Ernst in Journal of Laryngology & Otology, the cost of practicing ear candling according to the recommended frequency of use is estimated.
As each candles costs $3.15 USD, the annual cost of the treatment would amount to $982.00 USD. The author calls the continued practice of the treatment "a triumph of ignorance over science... or a triumph of commercial interests over medical reasoning." Although Biosun, a manufacturer of ear candles, refers to them as "Hopi" ear candles, there is no such treatment within traditional Hopi healing practices. Vanessa Charles, public relations officer for the Hopi Tribal Council, has stated that ear candling "is not and has never been a practice conducted by the Hopi tribe or the Hopi people." The Hopi tribe has asked Biosun, the manufacturer of'Hopi Ear Candles', to stop usin
Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine. Cupping is used in more than 60 countries, its usage dates back to as far as 1,550 B. C. There are different forms of cupping. Cups are applied onto the skin and a suction is created, pulling the skin up, it is meant to increase blood flow to certain areas to the body. Cupping has been characterized as a pseudoscience. There is no good evidence it has any health benefits, there are some risks of harm from fire and wet cupping. Cupping is poorly supported by scientific evidence, with a 2014 review of recent evidence finding that "because of the unreasonable design and poor research quality, the clinical evidence of cupping therapy is low." A 2011 review found that "the effectiveness of cupping is not well-documented for most conditions", that systematic reviews showing efficacy for the treatment of pain "were based on poor quality primary studies." The American Cancer Society notes that "available scientific evidence does not support claims that cupping has any health benefits" and that the treatment carries a small risk of burns.
In their 2008 book Trick or Treatment, Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst write that no evidence exists of any beneficial effects of cupping for any medical condition. Critics of alternative medicine such as Harriet Hall and Mark Crislip have characterized cupping as "pseudoscience nonsense", "a celebrity fad", "gibberish", observed that there is no evidence that cupping works any better than a placebo. Pharmacologist David Colquhoun writes that cupping is "laughable... and utterly implausible." Practicing surgeon David Gorski observes, "...it’s all risk for no benefit. It has no place in modern medicine, or at least shouldn’t." While ineffective, cupping is safe when applied by trained professionals on people who are otherwise healthy. Cupping may result in bruising, pain, and/or skin infection, is not recommended for people with health problems due to side effects. In 2016, the Cambodian Ministry of Health warned that cupping could be a health risk and dangerous for people with high blood pressure or heart problems.
Research suggests that cupping is harmful in people who are thin or obese: According to Jack Raso, cupping results in capillary expansion, excessive fluid accumulation in tissues, the rupture of blood vessels. Cupping therapy adverse events can be divided into local and systemic adverse events; the local adverse events were scar formation, skin infection, abscess formation, pain at the cupping site, systemic adverse events including: anemia, vasovagal attack, insomnia and nausea. Fire cupping can sometimes result in minor to severe burns at the cupping site, may lead to hospitalization and may require skin grafting to repair the injury. Other burns can occur due to carelessness with the flammable substances being used, such as spills and over application; some contraindications for cupping may include: pregnancy, dry or cracked skin, open wounds, or thin blood. While details vary between practitioners and cultures, the practice consists of drawing tissue into a cap placed on the targeted area by creating a partial vacuum – either by the heating and subsequent cooling of the air in the cup, or via a mechanical pump.
The cup is left in place for somewhere between five and fifteen minutes. Cupping therapy types can be classified using four distinct methods of categorisation; the first system of categorisation relates to "technical types" including: dry, wet and flash cupping therapy. The second categorisation relates to "the power of suction related types" including: light and strong cupping therapy; the third categorisation relates to "the method of suction related types" including: fire, manual suction, electrical suction cupping therapy. The fourth categorisation relates to "materials inside cups" including: herbal products, ozone, moxa and magnetic cupping therapy. Further categories of cupping were developed later; the fifth relates to area treated including: facial, female and orthopedic cupping therapy. The sixth relates to "other cupping types" that include aquatic cupping; the cupping procedure involves creating a small area of low air pressure next to the skin. However, there are varieties in the tools used, the methods of creating the low pressure, the procedures followed during the treatment.
The cups can be of various shapes including balls or bells, may range in size from 1 to 3 inches across the opening. Plastic and glass are the most common materials used today, replacing the horn, pottery and bamboo cups used in earlier times; the low air pressure required may be created by heating the cup or the air inside it with an open flame or a bath in hot scented oils placing it against the skin. As the air inside the cup cools, it contracts and draws the skin inside. More vacuum is created with a mechanical suction pump acting through a valve located at the top of the cup. Rubber cups are available that squeeze the air out and adapt to uneven or bony surfaces. In practice, cups are used only on softer tissue that can form a good seal with the edge of the cup, they may be used singly or with many to cover a larger area. They may be placed over an acupuncture needle. Skin may be lubricated. Cupping is not painful. There might be discomfort due to the tight suction created, pulling the skin up.
After a cupping session, the person might see red circle marks on their body. It is a misconception that these red circle