What’s This About? Cupping is an alternative form of therapy that originated in China thousands of years ago. It is mainly used for pain relief. Cups are placed on the skin to create suction. There are several kinds of cupping, including dry cupping, fire cupping, and wet cupping.
This house believes that cupping is effective.
“I agree…” Despite what skeptics say, cupping is definitely effective. There are research studies that prove it works. A recent study in the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that cupping works for pain relief. The study involved 60 people with neck pain. They were split into two groups, and the first one received cupping therapy while the other one did not. The first group reported less neck pain than the second group. In addition to relieving pain, cupping is valuable for the lungs. According to the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, cupping “can clear congestion from a common cold or help to control a person’s asthma.” The college also stated, “Cupping’s detoxifying effect on skin and the circulatory system is significant, with a visible improvement in skin color after three to five treatments. Cupping removes toxins and improves blood flow through the veins and arteries.” Ignore naysayers and give cupping a try.
“I disagree…” Many popular athletes have tried cupping in recent years, but it simply does not work. People think that cupping works because of a placebo effect. According to WebMD, a popular health website, a placebo is “anything that seems to be a ‘real’ medical treatment but isn’t,” whereas a placebo effect is a response to a placebo. In other words, because you expect something to work, your brain tricks you into thinking that it does. Most studies on cupping are flawed because the participants are told they’re undergoing cupping therapy. A study in the medical journal Trials found that cupping provided absolutely no pain relief among uninformed participants. Furthermore, Chinese medicine practitioners tell their patients that the dark marks caused by cupping are a result of toxins being released by the body, but they’re just bruises! Simply put, cupping is complete quackery. There are better ways to relieve pain, like getting a massage or doing yoga.
Judge’s Comments The second speaker’s argument was more convincing. However, if the response to cupping is due to a placebo effect, should people seek other methods for pain relief? Consider this: Placebos are able to provide the perception of relief. For many people, that’s enough.
Chris Hong Copy Editor
1. What is the main argument of pro?
2. What is the main argument of con?
3. Do you agree with pro or con?
1. Why do you agree with pro or con?
2. Why do some people have negative thoughts about cupping?
3. What difference did uninformed participants and informed participants show?
4. What does con suggest as better ways to relieve pain?