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Traditional Chinese Medicine

This ancient holistic treatment aims to heal not just physical symptoms, but to balance one's yin with one's yang.

Would cupping help with a cough that I have had for several months?

David TJ Lin (Bellevue, WA) on Aug 10, 2012
Probably not. You should try herbal medicine and acupuncture. I'd like to invite you to my clinic for a free Chinese medicine examination (usually $85) to go over your health concern.
Sara Proffer (Marquette, MI) on Aug 10, 2012
Yes, it can draw out the cause of the cough. It's helped me in the past. Gua sha is also helpful.
Paul Kempisty (New York, NY) on Aug 10, 2012
Cupping is a great technique for mobilizing stagnant material in the body. In some parts of Asia and Russia, cupping has been used to help "pull out phlegm" that has gathered in the lungs, though it is mostly applicable for relieving muscular aches and pains. In general, if you visited an acupuncturist with a cough nowadays, you would be treated primarily with acupuncture and herbs. Cupping might be used as an additional treatment.
Jacklin Arastouzadeh (Beverly Hills, CA) on Aug 10, 2012
Cupping is great for coughs. Definitely give it a try.
Raquel Nugent (, ) on Aug 10, 2012
By stimulating meridians related to the lungs, cupping is said to increase circulation and reduce the severity of coughs.
Raquel Nugent (, ) on Aug 10, 2012
By stimulating meridians related to the lungs, cupping is said to increase circulation and reduce the severity of coughs.
Leah Karpelson (Newton Highlands, MA) on Aug 10, 2012
It really depends on what is causing your cough. It is definitely possible that cupping will help, but you will need to go through an intake with an acupuncturist to really understand the root of the problem. Cupping, possibly in conjunction with acupuncture, can greatly improve your cough.
Richard Bartlett (Lansing, MI) on Aug 10, 2012
I would suggest getting this checked out by a doctor, before treating it with something as mild as Chinese Traditional methods. It could be asthma, bronchitis, or possibly the beginnings of emphysema/COPD, if you have any risk factors. You might try cupping or another TCM therapy and see if you feel that it gives relief of symptoms beyond what is possible with allopathic (conventional) medicine.
Melanie St. Ours (Washington, DC) on Aug 10, 2012
Maybe, but it depends on why you have the cough and why it's been so hard for you to shake it. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we look at the whole person to determine what patterns are present. One symptom alone is never enough to determine the whole story. If your cough is a dry, irritated, weak cough, then cupping is probably not going to help at all. If your cough is due to stagnation, then cupping might be beneficial. Whatever the cause, I'd really suggest that you work with a well-trained traditional herbalist who can incorporate not only body therapies like cupping and moxabustion, but can also teach you how to use herbal formulas and dietary modifications to restore harmony in your body so that you can recover from this cough. For something this deep and persistent, you need a comprehensive approach.
Andrea Scott (Newington, CT) on Aug 10, 2012
First I would suggest seeing your physician for a complete checkup to rule out other causes of your cough. It may be a sinus issue or an allergy of some sort. That said, yes, cupping removes toxins from the body and help open up areas of congestion.
Lejla Fazlicic (Lincolnwood, IL) on Aug 10, 2012
That will depend on the type of the cough. If you have a productive cough (coughing up phlegm) then cupping may help. Think about cupping as a vacuum therapy. It will remove stagnation, allowing the body to release the phlegm. But before starting treatment I would advise some additional testing by a doctor.
Kristy Wiggins (Algonquin, IL) on Aug 10, 2012
Cupping can help with a cough that is associated with phlegm, and congestion of the lungs. The action of the cupping will help loosen the thick mucus that has accumulated on the walls of the lungs. If you have a dry cough, cupping may not be able to assist in remedying this annoyance for you.
Lloyd McElheny (Aurora, CO) on Aug 10, 2012
If you have had a cough for several months, you should be under the care of a physician. While it is possible that cupping would help, massage therapists do not diagnose or prescribe ailments.
Ta-Li Chang (La Habra, CA) on Aug 10, 2012
Yes, though not as effective as acupuncture and herbs.
Andrea Santoro (Forest Hills, NY) on Aug 10, 2012
In my opinion, cupping might help with the cough by dispersing congestion and bringing circulation to stagnant tissues. The treatment should not hurt and should be gentle enough to feel good. I love cupping treatments and have helped many people with this modality.
Aram Akopyan (Glendale, CA) on Aug 10, 2012
Coughing can stem from causes as benign as a simple upper respiratory infection or mild asthma, to as serious as lung cancer or esophageal acid reflux. First and foremost, do not neglect a prolonged chronic cough. Get it checked to rule out serious conditions. If its a minor cough, cupping can help, though it is more common to use cupping for acute coughs. I would suggest trying it once to see how you respond to it. In many cases cupping can also be combined with oils or ointments to stimulate circulation in that area. Consult with your physician. You can find more information about cupping and related services here:
Deborah Gilmore (Golden, CO) on Aug 10, 2012
Cupping can help to remove phlegm from the lungs, But if the cough is chronic, you may wish to try herbs, like lobelia, or other lung tonics. Or try acupuncture. Much depends on the reason for the cough and the type of cough it is - dry, wet, etc.
Richard Jones (Nampa, ID) on Aug 10, 2012
It depends on what is causing the cough. If it is chronic and you have not yet seen a doctor, go. It could be just seasonal allergies, or it could be something more serious. Cupping is a type of percussion technique from the Swedish/deep tissue modality. The impact and vibration will loosen any type of congestion that happens to be in the lung. However its effectiveness strictly depends on the cause of the cough.
Daniel Posner (Port St Lucie, FL) on Aug 10, 2012
While the use of cupping therapy has many benefits and can be applied in many instances, it really depends on what is causing the cough. If you are coughing due to smoking or exposure to toxic substances, such as smoke from cooking or occupational hazards, then cupping will do little to help. But if your cough is caused by a body imbalance or toxins building up as a result of poor or reduced circulation, then yes, cupping would do you a world of good. Either way, it couldn't hurt.
Brenda Breedlove (San Francisco, CA) on Aug 10, 2012
If you mean "cupping" to refer to cupping the hands and performing percussion on the upper back, then yes! I was taught that in my massage training (Ancient Chinese secret used in traditional Chinese medicine) and I now use it for my family with great results! To get the best results, I have found that doing it at least once a day helps to loosen the stuff you have been unable to loosen through coughing. Cupping will help to clear the congestion much more quickly.
Timothy Mathews (Clearwater, FL) on Aug 10, 2012
No, cupping would not be something you would want to do. I usually try taking zinc to get rid of coughs. If I were you, I would see a doctor.
Jenny Sweeney (Tallahassee, FL) on Aug 10, 2012
Cupping can mean quite a few things in the massage therapy world! One method of cupping involves glass or plastic globes that are placed over the skin to draw blood to the surface of the skin. It is used to induce relaxation quickly in a targeted area. It does, however, often leave "hickey" marks on the skin. Another term for cupping (and which I assume you meant) is tapotement. Tapotement is a rhythmic percussion stroke (think the karate-chop motion as an example) or lightly thumping the back with a cupped palm to encourage the loosening of phlegm in the lungs. This method will help you cope with your symptoms.