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Culture > Home Remedies > Veduzzes - "Cupping" - an ancient medical art form

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submitted by George Poulos on 26.04.2004

Veduzzes - "Cupping" - an ancient medical art form

When I was a little boy, one of the practices that my father used, and was particularly good at administering -was "verduzzes".

This practise was both alarming and exciting for a little Kytherian-Greek boy.

First of all the patient/victim would be told to remove his/her shirt, and to lie face down a table/couch.

Then he would assemble 7-8 strong cups togther - and keep them close to hands.
In a Greek=Australian milk-bar of the mid-20th century - there would be plenty of cups of that type available - they were used to serve the freshly-squeezed orange juice, or to drink the milk-shakes from.

He would wrap a long thin rag around the end of a large fork or spoon handle, and make sure it was attached there.
He would then dip it in some kind of spirit - normally methylated spirits - and light a match to it. In Chinese medicine, this is called the "fire twinkling" method.

The flame would be thrust into the cup to remove the oxygen, and then as quickly as possible would be placed on the patients back. This was most often done with 6-7 cups simultaneously.

The skin/muscle on the back would be drawn up into the cup - often to the top of the cup - and then - after a little while - would be removed. The whole process would then be repeated for as long as my father thought it was necessary.

It was quite dramatic to see a fair portion of a persons back "sucked into" a set of glasses.

The practise is common throughout Russia, China, the Middle East, and Greece.

In Chinese medicine "the cupping method functions to warm and dredge the meridians, to circulate qi and activate blood, to dispel cold-damp, and to diminish swellings and pains. Clinically, the cupping method is often used to treat the obturation syndrome caused by wind-damp, such as pain in the low back, shoulders and legs, gastrointestinal disorders, such as cough and asthma."

Kytherians too believed that both wind-damp and cold-damp had deleterious effects on human health.

At times, my father has administered veduzzes "on" me - to great effect. I would often be "cured" of my ailment - the next day.

If I was particularly "krio-menos" - he would also rub a liberal dose of methylated spirits into my back - which was fairly hard to take - as it seemed to be breathed directly into the lungs.


"Cupping is a safe, non-invasive, and inexpensive technique. It is used by practitioners of Chinese medicine to treat colds, lung infections, and problems in the internal organs. It is also used to treat muscle and joint pain and spasms, particularly in the back. Cupping therapy is thought to stimulate blood circulation."

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submitted by
Peter Makarthis
on 14.06.2004

83:See the genuine articles for this 'remedy' -Photography Island>Miscellaneous>Tzerigo Remedy. Peter Makarthis