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DOI

10.25035./jsmahs.05.03.02

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of cupping therapy on skin surface temperature, and therefore local blood flow, at the medial forearm. Methods: 32 healthy subjects [13 females (age = 21.14 ± 1.70, height = 168.00 ± 9.70 cm, mass = 67.07 ± 16.93) and 16 males (age = 21.78 ± 1.90, height = 180.62 ± 6.09, mass = 88.35 ± 14.66) participated in this study. A mark was made with a permanent marker 7 cm distal to the medial forearm. Cupping therapy was performed over this mark with the use of a plastic pump cup for 15 minutes. Every 5 minutes the cup was removed in order for skin surface temperature to be taken. Skin surface temperature was taken with the use of an infrared thermometer at base line, 5 minutes into treatment, 10 minutes into treatment, 15 minutes into treatment, and 5 minutes after treatment. A one way repeated measures ANOVA was performed to analyze the difference in skin surface temperature over time. Significance was set at an alpha level p < 0.05. Results: Significant differences were found between all conditions (baseline = 89.37 ± 2.09, 5 minutes into treatment = 90.49 ± 2.08, 10 minutes into treatment = 91.65 ± 2.18, 15 minutes into treatment = 91.62 ± 2.26, 5 minutes after treatment = 92.40 ± 2.03, p < 0.001). Conclusion: A single cupping therapy treatment appears to significantly increase skin surface temperature at the treatment site. Increases in skin surface temperature have been suggested as a representation of increases in local blood flow. These findings suggest that a single cupping therapy treatment may increase local blood flow at the medial forearm.

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