Wet cupping - interesting.. most likely bs

So two years ago Proteus and I made a device similar to this:
Proteus then spent the summer working out and charting his progress. I'm not sure how effective it was and I'm not sure if any lack of progress had to do with any design failures on our part or what.. the point is Im trying to work on a smaller, more portable design and I bought a "cupping set." This consists of plastic cups with a pressure lock and a pump. This is a non-traditional treatment popular in both Chinese medicine and in some Muslim countries r/t passages in the Quaran.
Now, everything I'd read about cupping up to this point indicated it's hokey bullshit, but I've since found some interesting stuff. For example there was a study which found a decrease in ldl/hdl ratio. Most of these studies focus on the subjective like pain.. but others are using objective measure. Just something I found interesting.
Anyhow when you apply suction, the tissue gets sucked up into the cup and the capillaries fill up with blood. I could see something like this helping in transdermal drug type applications maybe? Could these be safely used for incision and drainage? Just kind of opening up the idea for brainstorming.


  • I wonder if these cupping sets could help the folks making the tattoos, like the ones that glow in the dark. Maybe poking up the skin with the pigment ink and then cupping the area while there is some pigment on the surface. When the suction is released, it could pull more pigment into the skin.

    Will you be doing any more testing with the cooling glove? Did you put your results anywhere?

  • Actually Proteus would have those numbers. He brought the glove to Canada with him. I'm working on a portable one as that one was too big. I'm going to use a peltier inside one of these cups and add a silicone ring for comfort. I know a group of people who run marathons every couple of months so they'd be great as a study group.

  • I did have numbers, but they were only of me running around in the California sun so I can't really draw conclusions from it. The glove was at least refreshing! I've also thought about a smaller peltier device, but didn't have the funds for it (the parts are still in my amazon cart...). The cupping is a good idea, I think. Does cupping work on the palms, or are you using a new location? I thought the relevant capillaries were only on the palms, feet, and face? I might be misremembering, as I haven't thought about this project much in the last 6 months.

    In a few months I may have a chance to test the old clunky glove on some firefighters doing live training with full gear. Apparently their internal temps regularly go up around 40 degrees C. I could actually get useful scientific data from that.

  • edited June 2018

    I ran across a write-up of a very early version of that glove that was being developed with, if I remember correctly, DARPA funding. The goal was to have a device that was wearable by an active user in extreme heat or cold, and while it may have been developed by a different group, used the exact same principle.

    The write-up I saw mentioned that they really wanted to build it into a boot, since having someone able to work for extended periods in extreme heat or cold doesn't do you a bit of good if they can't use one of their hands.

    Another thing that might be worth looking into is Coolsculpting, which uses a similar technique to cause fat cells to apoptose. The device is generally built to go over people's abs and hips, since that's where people frequently want targeted fat loss.

    Edit to add: https://www.wired.com/2007/03/bemore/ Yeah, it was the same research crew. Also, sweet leaping jesus, one of their group can do hundreds of pull-ups. Close the forum, we've found our posthuman.

  • Yeah, I'm going for the back of the hands again with this one. Zwytech is coming out later this month. If we get this transdermal coating he's been working on to do it's thing, I'm going to try running cellulose based tubing under the skin of these areas. We could run cooled fluid which also exchanges across a semipermiable membrane.. so cooling, hydration, drug administration, electrolyte exchange, removal of co2, and a source of O2... There's a lot of very cool shit we can do.
  • That sounds incredible. If it does 1/4 of that, it would be game-changing.
    If the cooling tubes were implanted, the location shouldn't matter. The hands are a good place for lots of reasons, but an athlete, who only wants hydration and heat exchange, could opt for a location like the back so it could exchange fluids with a worn pack, right?
    I can't wait to hear more about this.

  • It's really multiple projects. The hand placement is regarding the cooling thing. It's pretty specific. There are anatomical anastomoses in the hands, feet, and forehead. The rest of it, while awesome, is totally totally theoretical final destination of this project. In reality, the cellulose will probably get ingrowth and stop exchanging rapidly, and since we're talking about exchange across fluid in the subcutaneous space it would really have limited ability to do some of this stuff. Drug admin would be easy. Exchange of gasses and FL u I'd is totally doable, because we're not talking about blood the benefit may be negligible. But you've got to start somewhere right?
    I think it should work.. but I mean.. yeah. It's a project.
  • Just to clarify wet cupping (known as "hijamah" in Arabic) is not actually in the Q'uran. It's in the hadith (words, actions and silent approval of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.)


    There are actually quite a few natural therapies in the Sunnan (various collections of hadith), some of which have been compiled into books such as Prophetic Medicine:


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