Cupping Therapy May Not Be Effective Treatment Option for Fibromyalgia, Study Shows

Cupping Therapy May Not Be Effective Treatment Option for Fibromyalgia, Study Shows
Cupping therapy may not improve fibromyalgia symptoms, and therefore should not be recommended as a treatment option for patients with the condition, according to new research. The study, “Efficacy Of Cupping Therapy In Patients With The Fibromyalgia Syndrome - A Randomised Placebo Controlled Trial,” and was published in the journal Scientific Reports. Cupping therapy is a noninvasive ancient Chinese medical practice which consists of applying suction to the skin, generally using small circular cups. A vacuum is formed by either using a handheld pump or heating the inside of the cups. Variations of this therapy include skin incisions that allow blood and other body fluids to escape, as well as dry cupping and cupping massages, in which no incisions are made. Practitioners believe that cupping increases blood circulation, eliminates toxins and relieves painful muscle tension. To study whether cupping therapy could offer relief to fibromyalgia patients, 141 patients ages 18 to 75 were enrolled in the study and randomly assigned to one of three groups: therapy with dry cupping, sham cupping, or usual care. "Sham" cupping resembles the real treatment to study participants, but is done in such a way so that patients should not feel any pain relief. Patients generally don't know whether they are getting the sham or the cupping therapy. Cupping and sham groups received five sessions at twice weekly intervals within 18 days. Cupping was performed on the patients’ upper and lower back using four to eight acrylic glass cups (50–100 mm diameter). The skin suction was performed using a mechanical device and the negative pressure on the
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