Do I have you confused? Did you look in the dictionary or google 'filiformophile?' I made up this word. It means 'someone who likes filiform (acupuncture) needles.' And it's fun to say. Maybe my legacy will be that the dictionary added this new word! Feel free to assist by posting the word on Facebook!
Thanks to Olympic Gold Medalist Swimmer Mark Phelps, cupping has been a hot topic lately. My patients and I do love cupping!
The Grand Forks Herald, at my suggestion, printed an article about cupping on Monday, August 15. They say any press is good press, but it missed a few points...
"There are two main types of cupping--dry cupping and fire cupping." -- actually fire cupping is a type of dry cupping with the difference being the type of tool utilized. There's also water cupping, wet (bleeding) cupping, needle cupping, moving cupping, moxa cupping, flash cupping... Depending on which method and how strong the cupping is, it is considered tonifying (strengthening), even, or full (draining). It's important to understand the patient's health conditions to select the most suitable method.
The reporter Wade Rupard chose to focus on musculoskeletal issues, particularly for athletes, but cupping can do a LOT more, some of which I mentioned to him. Cupping can also be useful for abdominal pain, asthma, atrophy, bed wetting, common cold/flu,, constipation, cough, painful periods, fevers, hypertension, stroke/Bell's palsy, fatigue... One of the well known authors of cupping books (Ilkay Chirali) found in a pilot study that cupping can rapidly decrease the Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR), which is a sign of inflammation in the body and associated with infections, cancers and auto-immune diseases.
Cupping has been used in China for thousands of years. The first cupping was done with animal horns with the tip removed. Boiling bamboo cups in herbal decoctions came after that. Cupping is a core treatment modality acupuncturists learn and practice under supervision.
Rupard wrote that I'd been doing cupping for three years (no, I've been licensed for 3 years as an acupuncturist), but I learned cupping therapy 6 or 7 years ago. Other types of practitioners learn cupping in a weekend course... and can probably only treat musculoskeletal problems...
The combination of cupping with acupuncture and/or bleeding therapy can be extremely powerful. I was amazed about three years ago when I had a severe high ankle sprain. This trifecta of cupping, acupuncture and bleeding took me from being able to put ~15 pounds of weight on the injured ankle without severe pain at 7:00pm to ALL but ~15 pounds the next morning. Other folks who do cupping don't have the same skills...
which gets me around to a sore point: Non-acupuncturist practitioners of many techniques have "borrowed" our modalities. It's really irritating when they claim to have discovered them! For example, recently PTs are calling cupping 'myofascial decompression therapy,' and PTs are calling acupuncture 'dry needling,' and chiropractors are calling our friction technique (GuaSha) 'the Grasston Method.' They offer a Biomedical explanation and simply call it something else. Maybe it's flattering that they know our techniques work and wish to imitate us, but wouldn't it be better if they had the complete training including supervised clinical practice? If they want to practice our medicine, they should commit the time and resources to learning the entire art, and getting licensed as acupuncturists! Sorry for this rant!
The energy of summer is fabulous, especially here in North Dakota where nighttime temperatures are frequently very comfortable and the humidity is usually low enough for comfort.
Some days, however, the temperature may be high enough to put some people at risk for heat stroke, especially if they're exercising. Here is a simple way to help keep cool according to TCM dietary therapy: juice the white part of the watermelon rind and drink that. Watermelon white is known to be cooling, so enjoy it! And, of course, do all of the other things that help you stay cool such as hydrating with water, staying in the shade, limiting exertion, etc.