Talk:Cupping therapy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Effectiveness section II[edit]

I'm curious to know why the effectiveness section only mentions that the practice has not been extensively tested by people in the West and that there is "no evidence" that it works. Do European and American scientists have to approve of everything before it's considered "effective"? Because I should think this section either shouldn't be here or it should contain information on how the people who practice it determine its effectiveness. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:40, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

I find it strange anyone should need to explain this, but people who practice what they claim is a medical treatment, do not get to "determine its effectiveness" by their own standards. They have to have observable and reproducable data, which supports that the treatment is having the desired effect on the patient, and which can be studied and confirmed by others in their field. It's called the scientific method. When you get people trying to decide for themselves, without peer review of their results, what is and isn't effective, is when you get pseudo-science and 'holistic medicine'. CleverTitania (talk) 06:51, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
Furthermore, the gold standard test for any medical treatment is the double blind trial, i.e. demonstration that any observed effect is not merely due to placebo effect. True medical treatments are not approved without evidence from double blind trials. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lkingscott (talkcontribs) 06:41, 9 August 2016 (UTC)


There is an actual picture on this website if you can use it,,70141-1219989-9,00.html

This cupping offering seems a bit slanted and unbalanced at best and somewhat offensive in it's refrences to Muhammad QUOTE - (although Muhammad is said to have explicitly stated, roughly put, to have as much knowledge in things that need skill as any average person).

A distorted statement with no supporting references and totally out of context.

The author has serious issues.

Highlighting what the American Cancer Society says about anything alternative and free is like asking the Mob if they think security cameras are a good and beneficial idea.

This page needs a serious overhaul and review. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:22, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

November 2007[edit]

I am interested in knowing why cupping is considered Chinese Medicine when it is practiced all over the Middle East, was recommneded by Prophet Muhammad and was likely brought to the East by Muslims. It is wrong to make this a chinese medicine category.

END —Preceding unsigned comment added by Signpostmaker (talkcontribs) 07:21, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

"likely" is original research which we do not allow on Wikipedia. I added the Islamic medicine category though. There's no limit to the number of categories in which a page can be listed. However, I advise you to stop introducing original research, removing illustrative images, and restoring typos. Unconstructive edits will be reverted. - (), 15:13, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

The site is being vandalized by a person and changes are being deleted with honoreable and reliable refrences. Cupping is an oral tradition that lacks much "scientific data" it is a Prophetic tradition handed down from one authorized healer to another. I have been taught and authorized by such an individual and have attended hundreds of cupping proceedures. The refrences I have are from people trained in the same manner for hundreds of years. The fact they are not published should not discount their valuable teaching nor make them original research. How then do you suggest refrencing these types of experts? In confining work to scientifically published material you miss out on so much of healing that is spiritually based. Certification is not the proceedure for authorizing a cupper. Athorization can only be handed down by someone who was authorized in a like manner back to the actual Prophetic tradition. Thus, certification is simply pointing people to the master you studied under. If there is any doubt, people are free to contact them and verify the authorization. Certificates can be bought and paid for from anumber of questionable sources. You are taking an ancient practice and trying to place it into the confines of a scientific method. In doing so you seek to make cupping a union like the AMA who imposes certification as a means of cheating people with higher and higher "professional" fees for healing that should not be associated with money. Doctors live in multi-million dollar homes while babies die from lack of proper medical treatment - locked out of the expensive medical system. Much of cupping is in the area of spirtuality, something that can not and will never be quantified by a scientific approach. Masaru Emoto is now proving this scientificly in his work with water crystals - but it does not begin to scratch the surface.

You need to provide people with an alternative to the data verification system that you try to empose on real healing. You also need to block this person "I do not exist" who has his own agenda and is vandalizing this site. At the very least the cupping section should have an area that discusses these important concerns. Real healing is not a business controled by scientists, professional organizations, or the medical mafia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Signpostmaker (talkcontribs) 07:16, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

"I Do Not Exist" seems to have some issues with spirituality which I think reflects the bias towards the vandalism on these pages.

"Homosexuality in Voodoo is religiously acceptable and homosexuals are allowed to participate in all religious activities. However, in countries with large Voodoo populations (such as Benin or Haiti) Christian influence has given homosexuality a social stigma (see homosexuality and Christianity), at least on some levels of society. The Voodoo religion itself has remained open to people of all sexual orientations."

Just one example of pages he/she participates in. Is it possible to ban this person from continued vandalism? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Signpostmaker (talkcontribs) 08:43, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Hi, please go to the Administrators' noticeboard if you want to report my continued vandalism. Thanks! - (), 17:08, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
That's not the right place though; I was thinking of WP:AIV but that's only for vandals who are active now and have vandalized after a recent last warning. I'm not sure what the right place would be, since to me this looks like a dispute about Wikipedia's core policy; maybe if you want to see a change in our policy on verifiability, you could go to WT:V and campaign for a change there. However, if you insist on seeing this as a user conduct issue, then WP:RFCC is probably the right place. Hope this helps. :-) - (), 17:31, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Advice from the person who is vandalizing this site. I think I will investigate this myself. Your bias is clear and I would ask that you either refrain from contributing to this site or ask that it be taken over by another more impartial administrator - you are an administrator, yes? You are actively removing refrences fro these pages tat support cupping and ignore misquoted and superfulous refrences that degrade cupping. The Yiddish folk lore text is just one such example with a refrence to a site that requires registration and a misquote for the other refrence. Why not taking issue with this. I have viewed your other posts and I have no idea how someone with such an axe to grind can become an impartial administrator. I will seek to have you removed and encourage others to do so as well. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:00, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

I am not an administrator. - (), 17:23, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

User, I Do Not Exist, should stop existing, be blocked. First he/she moves the citations, then disputes the citation as not being relevant. Nice trick. This is clearly vandalism and this person has been warned. If you care about these cupping pages please report this user. Thanks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:13, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

More evidence of user "I Do Not Exist" clear bias and vandalism, he/she has removed the hijama link in the SEE ALSO section of this page. It's amazing this person is allowed to continue.

I moved it to a section hatnote. There's no need for a duplicate link. - (), 19:28, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Collaborative Film on Cupping[edit]

After viewing this page for some time it is clear to me that there is not much being done to improve the quality of the fire cupping page with the lassts edits in 2007. I tried and became discouraged because I think people not qualified are steering this subject off a cliff, perhaps with bad motives, perhaps not.

I have found a project that hopefully will do much to provided documented evidence, research and information about cupping. It is a film from a non=profit organizations called Sufi Films that is inviting people to contribute research, information, and suggest experts to interview on the subject of cupping from all cultures. They intend to provide a comprehensive overview of the industry. I think we should include something about this and work to support it in an effrot to improve the avaialble information about cupping.

Let me known if you think the offering is good or can be improved.

Thank you. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:31, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

That addition is just spam. The film is not yet made, it's still seeking funding, and it's not the job of Wikipedia to support the film by directing readers to the film site. something lame from CBW 22:54, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Really now?[edit]

In the section regarding cellulite...

"Cups are extremely effective in the treatment of cellulite and many other modern day ailments."

Unsourced and likely original research and also quite likely false. :-/ What's the deal?--Hawkian (talk) 23:41, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

ah well, it needed de-weaselling which I've done among other faux padding cutting etc (see edit summary) - didn't realise article was the target of older hot discussion but should be far enough along by now to sit in its own juices. Manytexts (talk) 11:55, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

Benefits --> Practice[edit]

I know what you mean - not sure of the right word, though this is a start. Manytexts (talk) 09:48, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: moved. Jenks24 (talk) 12:51, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

Fire cuppingCupping therapy – Sources given in the article call it cupping and not fire cupping. Some cupping therapies use mechanical suction rather than cooling air[1]. Relisted. Jenks24 (talk) 04:40, 20 June 2012 (UTC) JBrown23 (talk) 02:31, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

  • Support. I was suspicious of the present title on anecdotal grounds, so I checked with a cupping practitioner who reports that it is rarely called "fire cupping". Googlebook evidence supports this conclusion:
intitle:"alternative medicine" cupping: 60 hits
intitle:"alternative medicine" cupping "fire cupping": 3 hits
Interpretation: Of 60 books with "alternative medicine" in the title and "cupping" in the text, only 3 had the term "fire cupping" in the text. Confirming the higher frequency of the natural and accurately delimited term "cupping therapy" are these searches:
"cupping therapy is": 29 hits
"fire cupping is": 9 hits
NoeticaTea? 12:33, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. The move/retitle makes perfect sense. Centerone (talk) 18:37, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Effectiveness section[edit]

Wouldn't a section on its proven effectiveness help? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:51, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

If you can find research that gives details on it's 'proven effectiveness' feel free to edit the article and contribute this information and the references.Centerone (talk) 07:06, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

This section requires a reference, I agree with the other talk comment, in part, in that more is needed that a statement simply saying it doesn't work. A reference or examples or part of the study that is quoted is needed.Acuhealth (talk) 21:30, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

A reference did exist until it was removed without explanation less than an hour before you read the article! Reverted now, claim fully referenced.

Thank you for the feedback. Someone should have explained why they removed the reference. It seems inappropriate to delete items without signing and commenting on the Talk page. I am familiar with that reference to the book Trick or Treatment, which was removed by a prior user. This book is largely a specific attack on homeopathy and chiropractic care. It is highly politically charged. One author of the book, for example, was dismissed from Exeter University over the Smallwood incident. It seems that the author took exception to Prince Charles' private secretary citing the cost-effectiveness of CAM therapies. Politically charged books such as this are not exactly purely scientific investigations, the Smallwood incident is no exception. I suggest that this reference be struck. Granted the lawsuit from the British Chiropractic Association against the other author for material in this book, Singh, was dropped. Nonetheless, the controversy of this book surrounded other elements such as the dedication of the book to the Prince of Wales. Perhaps this was a tongue in cheek retort given the politically charged incident with his personal secretary. Please remove the reference and replace with a better one that includes a randomized, placebo controlled trial. These types of investigations are scientific and are preferred to books such as Trick or Treatment, which are specifically designed to attack CAM therapies.Acuhealth (talk) 02:31, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

I vote that it stays. Whether or not its author was embroiled in a political row with royalty or not does not seem relevant to the statement that no effective trials have been conducted. This page did not seem very balanced and lacked much (any) scientific analysis. A lot of people will argue that the book Trick or Treatment is a very good book as it collates the scientific evidence regarding those treatments and analyses how well the scientific method was stuck to in those instances. I believe this statement is not only valid but also vital to give balance to an article which seems to favour the treatment without what (from my point of view) is rigorous scientific proof to back it up. I don't know of any randomised placebo controlled trials on this, but you are welcome to add them yourself. As it says, no positive trials exist. I don't think any trials that turn up should REPLACE the statement, merely supplement it. The statement is valid, and they have searched through all the valid and available research to come to this conclusion.Rayman60 (talk) 12:00, 27 May 2013 (UTC)


There seems to be some duplication in the method section. Also, it seems that some topics are covered under each sub-section of the method section that could be said to be true for all forms of cupping. Perhaps a rewrite/reorganization is in order where it spells out the common things with cupping and then separates out the different methodologies. Centerone (talk) 07:08, 30 August 2012 (UTC)


The introduction describes cupping as a Chinese remedy. But the text makes it clear that cupping was much more widespread, including ancient Egypt. So to describe cupping as purely Chinese is probably wrong. I suggest that the word "Chines" be deleted. (talk) 04:43, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

Reliable sources[edit]

I reverted {{Unreliable medical source}} tags placed by User: on two citations to the NLM. Please explain how or why this is an unreliable source.

In addition, please also explain why the other citation, The American Journal of Chinese Medicine is an unreliable source.
SBaker43 (talk) 04:32, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

صلى الله عليه وسلم (Peace Be Upon Him)[edit]

Somebody has been adding the sentence صلى الله عليه وسلم after every mention of the name of the Prophet Muhammad in this article. Although I understand the religious sensibilities behind the use of this format, it is not commonplace in Wikipedia. In fact, according to Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style_(Islam-related_articles)#Islamic_honorifics, PBUH should not be used in article text, and thus I will be removing it. Chelos (talk) 21:34, 28 August 2013 (UTC)

How the seal is created[edit]

This line appears in the context of how the vacuum is created for Fire Cupping: "By adding fire to the inside of the cup, oxygen is removed and a small amount of suction is created." I'm not familiar with the practice, so I won't make the change myself, but it seems like this is probably more likely caused by having warm air cool down after the seal has been formed. Something I am sure of, however, is that oxygen is not a factor at all. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:19, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

What is specifically missing is the idea of a vacuum. Fire needs three things (the fire triangle), fuel, oxygen, and heat. When the lit cotton ball is placed in the cup it uses the oxygen in the cup. This lack of oxygen creates a vacuum which raises the skin when the cup is places on a person's back. Using fire to create a vacuum is a common technique and is also directly shown with the use of ear candles. [1] Nathealth123 (talk) 22:05, 26 February 2015 (UTC)nathealth123

Actually it's definitely not shown with the use of ear candles.
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 actually led to occlusion with candle wax in persons who previously had clean ear canals. Primary care physicians may see complications from ear candling including candle wax occlusion, local burns, and tympanic membrane perforation."

The Spokane Ear, Nose, 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 simply candle wax and soot.
The only reason the vacuum holds in cupping, is because they stick it against the skin before the pressure inside of the cup can equalize - and the actual vacuum pressure on the body is marginal hence why it can't actually "draw" anything out of your body - again much like ear candling. CleverTitania (talk) 06:02, 23 July 2015 (UTC)


  1. ^

Possible improvements[edit]

The article is poorly sourced, which I think is the major problem here. Most of the content seems fine.

I removed a sentence of (possible) translations into other languages and moved the only sourced one into the history section. The history section itself is suspect. I couldn't find anything in the Ebers papyrus about cupping, whether the German translation or the English sections. What I've found so far online for evidence is the same general phrase on many advocacy websites, but none give anything more. The dating of the papyrus also seems to be the rationale for the 3000 years of use comment, so if the papyrus bit is excised, so should this phrase. The dating of the Chinese usage also needs to be supported, but I didn't get to look into that. From what I saw, Hippocrates did indeed suggest cupping, but I haven't verified that yet. I know that cupping was a normal practice in 19th century Europe and I will add that later. The spread of cupping seems to be Egypt->Greece->Middle East and Europe->everywhere else, but this also needs to be confirmed.

If somebody would like to, and I might do this later, we can add the removed translations "Meyboom, badkesh(بادکش), banki, bahnkes, bekam, buhang, bentusa, kyukaku, giác hơi, kavaa (ކަވާ), singhi" to that infobox.

The article needs either major sourcing, major pruning, or both. I'll try to work on it more if I have time. Gormadoc (talk) 05:30, 23 July 2015 (UTC)

And is it considered okay to edit others' comments if they add a reference to the talk page and it shows up at the bottom of the last section? Gormadoc (talk) 05:32, 23 July 2015 (UTC)

The "English" in this article is awful, but I will stop with the 2 corrections I made because I don't want to get into the middle of a big old brouhaha with other editors. Sh33na 01:27, 29 February 2016 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sh33na (talkcontribs)

Shouldn't it be "Cupping Therapy" instead of "Cupping therapy?" Sh33na 06:55, 31 March 2016 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sh33na (talkcontribs)

@Sh33na: An old question, but the answer is that article titles are "sentence case", see Wikipedia:Article_titles#Article_title_format.  —jmcgnh(talk) (contribs) 05:44, 10 August 2016 (UTC)

More improper edits[edit]

I haven't had much time to look over the article some more, but the information 1928Whippet added was both unsourced and anecdotal, although interesting. If they happen to come back and look here to see what happened, I would suggest that it was the Polish word bańka with an English plural attached. Gormadoc (talk) 02:20, 6 August 2015 (UTC)

Recently removed[edit]

Just a few moments ago, the following text was removed from the "Practice" section:

There is a description of cupping in George Orwell's essay "How the Poor Die", where he was surprised to find it practiced in a Paris hospital.[1]

It was removed as unsourced, which is totally fine. However the statement is accurate, and can be sourced. That's not why I'm posting here. Rather, I'd like to hear what someone else things about where in the article this belongs. I am leaning towards the end of the "History" section. I am also open to leaving it out, depending on what (if anything) is said here. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 01:22, 10 August 2016 (UTC)


  1. ^ Orwell, George (November 1946). "How the Poor Die". Now. Retrieved 10 August 2016. As I lay down I saw on a bed nearly opposite me a small, round-shouldered, sandy-haired man sitting half naked while a doctor and a student performed some strange operation on him. First the doctor produced from his black bag a dozen small glasses like wine glasses, then the student burned a match inside each glass to exhaust the air, then the glass was popped on to the man's back or chest and the vacuum drew up a huge yellow blister. Only after some moments did I realize what they were doing to him. It was something called cupping, a treatment which you can read about in old medical text-books but which till then I had vaguely thought of as one of those things they do to horses. 
The way you've constructed this {{reflist-talk}}, it's slipping out of the the section and dropping to the bottom of the page. Is there another way to do it that works better?  —jmcgnh(talk) (contribs) 05:50, 10 August 2016 (UTC)
I un-collapsed it (with just one ref, it doesn't really need collapsing), maybe that'll help. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 13:11, 10 August 2016 (UTC)

British Cupping Society as source[edit]

The first sentence of the lead refers to the British Cupping Society website, but after much reworking, the sentence no longer resembles nor can be fully supported by anything found on the BCS website. Furthermore, despite adopting the colors of a professional society, the BCS website is not a satisfactory source. It engages in advocacy rather than balanced treatment of the subject. The "evidence" sections of the website are underdeveloped or empty.

Frankly, I'm surprised that this article has been so dynamic while not much has been happening on this Talk page. Someone mentioned "recentism" and it is true that the average daily pageviews for this article have jumped by a factor of 10 more over the course of the last couple of days (as has the frequency of edits).

It seems that there is no consensus among the current set of editors of how this page should be. I'll state my current position, others can chime in:

Cupping is a traditional practice with an ancient history across many different cultures. It continues to be practiced in modern times in places around the world. As a medical practice, if falls into the category of either traditional or alternative treatment. The best evidence available says that any benefits from cupping are not distinguishable from Placebo and there are minor to significant risks associated with the practice.

The BCS site has a FAQ page where they (somewhat repetitively) give practice guidelines to avoid certain risk factors.

They display a quote from Dr. Ahmed Younis, president of BCS: Cupping Therapy is an ancient medical treatment that relies on creating a local suction to mobilize blood flow in order to promote healing. My guess is that this is the sentence that was the germ of the article's lead.

Anyone want to find a better source?  —jmcgnh(talk) (contribs) 05:28, 10 August 2016 (UTC)


"Cupping is a pseudoscience,[4] lacking good evidence it has any beneficial health effects, with some risk that it may be harmful.[3][5]"

Opinion, not fact.

Everyone has an opinion. They're like a**holes. ---Dagme (talk) 17:26, 10 August 2016 (UTC)

That's your opinion. In Wikipedia per WP:ASSERT a fact is something not seriously disputed (i.e. in RS). If there are good sources which consider the type-of-science categorization of cupping and come up with something other than pseudoscience, then produce them! Alexbrn (talk) 17:31, 10 August 2016 (UTC)
Whether a practice is pseudoscience is not a matter of opinion, no matter how much one would like it to be. There is a clear definition of pseudoscience, and cupping falls squarely within it. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 17:56, 10 August 2016 (UTC)

The reference for no beneficial health effects and risk of harm is the highly cited Cao et al. 2012 PLOSONE paper that states "Finally, our meta-analysis revealed that cupping therapy combined with other treatments, such as acupuncture or medications, showed significant benefit over other treatments alone in effecting a cure for herpes zoster, acne, facial paralysis, and cervical spondylosis." I proposed not labeling it as a Psuedoscience in the second sentence and adding the tentative positive evidence to the effectiveness section. SiFTW (talk) 23:07, 11 August 2016 (UTC)

Don't use PLoS One, it's not the most solid journal - an ins't that study Chinese (and so unreliable for TCM therapies)? Alexbrn (talk) 05:41, 12 August 2016 (UTC)

I think it's borderline racist to imply that just because a study is Chinese means it can't be a source of evidence for alternative medicines. Why don't we place the same restrictions on "Western" medicines? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:21, 15 August 2016 (UTC)

Well, we don't allow homeopathic publications to be used to support claims for Homeopathy, nor Reichian publications for Reichian therapy, nor osteopathic publications for Osteopathy, nor radionic publications for Radionics... (all of those are Western, by the way). And the main thing that identifies TCM is that it's from China -- whether it's cupping or or concoctions made from human feces, genitalia, or pubic hair. It's kinda like questioning studies from India regarding the effectiveness of Ayurveda -- publications from the homeland of a style of traditional medicine are more likely to have skewed or sloppy results for the sake of national pride (especially when the government is more interested in export revenues than the actual science).[1] Now, I would agree that does not automatically make it unreliable, but if it contradicts what all science-based publications have to say then we should question it's reliability. And Wikipedia doesn't favor "Western" medicine over others -- it favors Evidence-based medicine over others. Otherwise, we wouldn't say that homeopathy, Reichian therapy, Radionics, Humorism (which is probably the best Western medicine to compare TCM with), and so on are just plain wrong. Ian.thomson (talk) 11:33, 15 August 2016 (UTC)
Did you seriously just accuse us of being racist because we won't use unreliable sources? MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 13:08, 15 August 2016 (UTC)


  1. ^ Qiu J (April 2007). "China plans to modernize traditional medicine". Nature. 446 (7136): 590–1. doi:10.1038/446590a. PMID 17410143. 
I'm not getting into the cupping debate, but yes it is racist to assume articles in Chinese journals are unreliable on traditional Chinese therapies. Its like saying articles by people with German last names can't be objective about homeopathy because homeopathy is from Germany.Herbxue (talk) 19:21, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
@Herbxue: Who the fuck said they were unreliable because they were Chinese? Nobody but you! I'm telling you right now, if this continues it's going to ANI. Calling someone racist is a huge personal attack. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 19:45, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
Presumably Herbxue is referring to " ins't that study Chinese (and so unreliable for TCM therapies)?" --tronvillain (talk) 23:04, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
That quote, even devoid of context is highly specific. Hence "...(and so unreliable for TCM therapies)?" The issue, as explained by Ian.thomson and as hinted at in that quote is not the race of the authors, but the political agenda of the publishers. It's well documented that Chinese publishers aren't as reliable as non-chinese publishers, because the Chinese government's push to make China a power in the world encourages them to publish anything that can make China look good internationally ([2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8], [9], [10] & [11] were all found with a 3 minute google search). WP:AGF doesn't make exceptions for cases where ignoring most of what some editor says allows one to interpret the rest as racist. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 15:40, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
Quite. This has been discussed ad nauseum before (alongside e.g. the reliability of Russian psychology sources). The problems are well-documented in RS. I seem to remember another editor tried to pull the "wow! racist!" stunt on that occasion and almost got site banned for it. Alexbrn (talk) 15:51, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
Indeed. I was just pointing out what they were presumably referring to with "to assume articles in Chinese journals are unreliable on traditional Chinese therapies." Of course, PLOS ONE is neither a Chinese journal nor a Chinese publisher, but since the 133 of the 135 studies included in the review were published in Chinese journals, the above criticisms would apply. As the review itself says immediately after the above quote by SiFTW: However, the main limitation of our analysis was that nearly all included trials were evaluated as high risk of bias. As such, it is necessary to conduct further RCTs that are of high quality and larger sample sizes in order to draw a definitive conclusion. Earlier in their discussion section they point out:The potential asymmetry of the overall funnel plot test (Figure 5) of 39 RCTs that examined the outcome of the number of cured patients for 4 diseases (herpes zoster, facial paralysis, acne, and cervical spondylosis) may be caused by, small study effects, or even heterogeneity in intervention effects. Furthermore, as we did not include unpublished studies, there is high potential that our review may have publication bias. And of the effects they did find, almost all of them were for wet cupping - it wouldn't be too surprising if bloodletting had a fairly large placebo effect. --tronvillain (talk) 16:23, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

If you are saying a particular publication has a history of publishing poor-quality research, and therefore is likely to publish results skewed by bias, of course that's fine. The problem is WP editors often don't bother to actually look at a Chinese publication until they've already rejected it for BEING CHINESE and have been called out for doing so. I have not accused an individual of being a racist, I am pointing out that assuming all Chinese researchers or publications are unreliable is lazy at best, racist at worst. Despite what Alexbrn says, there is not consensus in the academic community that Chinese research is unreliable. Ironically, Ernst's article on the subject relies on a review of Chinese acupuncture studies from the 90's published IN A CHINESE JOURNAL, BY CHINESE AUTHORS. So, unless you want to really get your hands dirty and talk about why a specific publication is unreliable, I suggest you not make generalizations about the scientific community of a very large and developed country. Oh and by the way, don't swear at me again please.Herbxue (talk) 17:00, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

...yes it is racist to assume articles in Chinese journals are unreliable on traditional Chinese therapies. I don't see "lazy at best, racist at worst." in that quote. I see "yes, it is racist" though. I also see a large number of sources (both lay and academic) discussing the unreliability of Chinese publications in my post above, in direct contradiction to your assertion that there is "not consensus in the academic community that Chinese research is unreliable." Furthermore, as Tronvillain pointed out, the review of such studies found that (at least) the majority of Chinese studies reviewed were "...evaluated as high risk of bias." Finally, I curse when I'm trying to put a great deal of emphasis on something. Part of collaborative editing is working with others, even when they use words you don't like. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 17:12, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
The sources you cite above are largely echo-chamber blogs. The Nature one is high quality obviously, although it mostly deals with China's inability to become a world leader in science in general, not specifically about the issues with bias in acupuncture or other traditional therapies. To be clear - I am not arguing that these problems don't exist in Chinese research, I've seen it unfold right in front of me at two teaching hospitals in China. It was not, however, ubiquitous. So, to conclude that certain trials or reviews of trials are unreliable because they have been evaluated for bias, fine, good use of checks and balances. But to assume a study on cupping or acupuncture is invalid simply because it comes from Chinese sources is not appropriate. Heck, one WP editor tried to reject a paper authored by US-based researchers published in BMJ because the authors' names were Chinese!Herbxue (talk) 18:22, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
The problem is not that all Chinese published science on TCM is bad, and no-one has suggested that. The problem is that we don't know what Chinese published science on TCM is bad. There aren't specific Chinese journals which are the only outlet for bad science. This is the very heart of verifiability: If a certain group of sources contains a number which are false or misleading, and you cannot identify a pattern among them, then you cannot assume that any given source from that group is valid, unless you have known valid sources which agree with it. Furthermore, even if I assume that the incredibly widely documented (again, those results were from the first page of a simple google search, and more specificity would, I guarantee, produce WP:RS sources saying the same thing) phenomenon is simply untrue, and due to some cultural bias, it does not follow that anyone who refers to this phenomenon is racist. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 19:42, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
I just want to reiterate that the review that started all of this was in PLOS ONE, and is itself good support for the statement that cupping is "lacking good evidence it has any beneficial health effects." See the above quotes from the review. People could publish some quality double blinded trials of cupping and establish that it works... but they won't, because it's clearly a pseudoscience. --tronvillain (talk) 20:03, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
Let's not forget the other study published by scientists with Chinese names that directly addresses the question of cupping's effectiveness and which states right there in the abstract; "It indicates that cupping therapy can be applied to extensive curable disease, but has poor clinical evidence." MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 20:33, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

source ""[edit]

I looked into some of the things found on the History section that currently have as a supposed reference this "" website. None of them are supported by the source, so I'm removing both references.

I would also like to point out that I'm not sure if this source is reliable at all. It makes unsupported claims, and on its history section, it quotes this very wikipedia article. So maybe this source should be removed altogether? VdSV9 02:49, 11 August 2016 (UTC)

There were two instances of this reference left, one of them was on the Limited bruising cupping section, and there was nothing on the page about it. Reference removed. The last one is on the TCM cupping section, and it follows "to treat respiratory diseases such as the common cold, pneumonia and bronchitis." Now, this is vaguely supported by the draxe page, however, the source that the page cites as a source does not support its claims. I am removing this reference altogether as it is just completely unreliable. VdSV9 12:24, 11 August 2016 (UTC)

DrAxe is gone, but then there is this [1] which was used in the TCM cupping section.


  1. ^ Kucharzewski, Marek; Mieszczański, Paweł; Wilemska-Kucharzewska, Katarzyna; Taradaj, Jakub; Kuropatnicki, Andrzej; Śliwiński, Zbigniew (2014-01-01). "The Application of Negative Pressure Wound Therapy in the Treatment of Chronic Venous Leg Ulceration: Authors Experience". BioMed Research International. 2014. doi:10.1155/2014/297230. ISSN 2314-6133. PMC 3947705Freely accessible. PMID 24696847. 

This paper has nothing in it about TCM, I removed the citation but it does have something to do with cupping and it is published on an actual journal (albeit a very low impact one), so I'm saving it here for future reference in case anyone is interested. This is the reference DrAxe cites for his claims on respiratory diseases, by the way, which, as I said above, it doesn't really say anything about. VdSV9 12:46, 11 August 2016 (UTC)

Good catch. I don't believe DrAxe is a reliable source for anything that we could use here. --Ronz (talk) 19:23, 11 August 2016 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 12 August 2016[edit]

Cupping was recommended by the Jewish scholar Maimonides in the thirteenth century. The practice of cupping was so integral to Eastern European Jewish tradition, there was even a Yiddish proverb about it: “Es vet helfn vi a toytn bankes.” That means, “It will be as helpful as cupping a corpse.” 

reference: (talk) 16:55, 12 August 2016 (UTC)

Partly done: There was no request here, but I took parts of this quote and inserted it into the article. Sir Joseph (talk) 18:17, 12 August 2016 (UTC)

A sentence[edit]

"There is reason to believe the practice dates from as early as 3000 BC."
Shouldn't it be a reason and dates to respectively?--Adûnâi (talk) 19:46, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

No, neither. DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 19:50, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

Merge proposal[edit]

  • DO NOT SUPPORT. Cupping and Hijama are differentiated by a requirement to have an ijaaza to practice. If there is no ijaaza, there is no hijama, See the book by James McConnell, Hijama vs Cupping for more information available at Amazon. This article needs an explanation for ijaaza and I will try to get to it soon. The ijaaza page is continuously sabotaged by people who know nothing about the subject but nonetheless find obscure references that seem to pass for real references. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:59, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

There has been only one comment on merging Hijama to Cupping therapy. There has been only common (against), but I'd be slight in favor of a merge on the grounds that the former is a subset of the latter; and the cupping page already has a section on Hijama (Cupping therapy#Wet cupping). Any other thoughts welcome. Klbrain (talk) 21:48, 25 July 2017 (UTC)

  • This is an obvious merge. Most of the content on the Hijama page is about cupping in general anyway.--tronvillain (talk) 19:38, 8 March 2018 (UTC)
I think I've extracted everything relevant from hijama article, except for possibly: AlBedah, Abdullah (2011). "Hijama (cupping): a review of the evidence". Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies. 16 (1): 12–16. doi:10.1111/j.2042-7166.2010.01060.x.  With the conclusion having "the low quality of RCTs investigating wet cupping, attributed to inadequate randomisation and blinding, and the lack of ethical review, affects the credibility of such studies", it really doesn't add much to existing analyses of cupping other than being specifically about wet cupping. --tronvillain (talk) 18:09, 16 March 2018 (UTC)
  • merge I am definitely in favor of combining these two as they cover much of the same content.Unconventional2 (talk · contribs · email) 20:00, 8 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Support a merge. As Tronvillain notes, there's very little on there that isn't on here, and most of the sources there are just about wet-cupping. A section could be included here on Hijama and how it is different from 'vanilla' wet-cupping, but there doesn't seem to be a need for a separate article.Girth Summit (talk) 18:18, 9 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Merge, no meaningful difference that can't be explained in one or two sentences. Blackguard 18:46, 9 March 2018 (UTC)