Cupping for Hypertension: A Systematic Review

Division of Standard Research, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon, South Korea.
Clinical and Experimental Hypertension (Impact Factor: 1.23). 11/2010; 32(7):423-5. DOI: 10.3109/10641961003667955
Source: PubMed


The objective of this review is to assess the clinical evidence for or against cupping as a treatment for hypertension. We searched the literature using 15 databases from their inception to 30 June 2009, without language restrictions. We included all clinical trials (CTs) of cupping to treat hypertension in human patients. Risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane criteria. Two CTs met all inclusion criteria. One RCT (randomized CT) assessed the effectiveness of dry cupping on changes in cerebral vascular function compared with drug therapy. Their results suggested significant effect in favor of cupping on vascular compliance and degree of vascular filling. One uncontrolled observational study (UOS) tested wet cupping for acute hypertension and found that a one-time treatment reduced blood pressure. In conclusion, the evidence is not significantly convincing to suggest cupping is effective for treating hypertension. Further research is required to investigate whether it generates any specific effects for that condition.

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    • "Results also showed that the amount of red blood cells, hemoglobin, hematocrit, viscosity, MCHD (Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration) in the wet cupping blood compared with venous blood were significantly higher (p < .013).18 In one study the results suggested significant effect in favor of cupping on vascular compliance and degree of vascular filling.19 "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Wet cupping is a traditional bloodletting method recommended for controlling of respiratory disease complications. This study aimed to compare the efficacy of wet cupping vs. venesection on arterial O2 saturation level of smokers. Methods: This is a randomized controlled clinical trial which started with simple sampling of smokers. After administering spirometery, participants (N = 110 male smokers) with positive pulmonary function test (PFT), who manifested Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), were randomly assigned to intervention and control groups. The two groups were assessed in terms of demographic data, rate of hemoglobin (Hb), hematocrit (Hct), and arterial O2 saturation. Then, the intervention participants underwent wet cupping whereas venesection was performed on the control participants. At four stages after the two treatments, pulse oximetery was performed. Data was analyzed using SPSS (Version 17). Results: Result shows that mean arterial O2 sat level increased at three stages, namely before, immediately after, and 6 and 12 hrs after these two treatments (p ≤ 0.001). This indicates that wet cupping and venesection alike were effective on O2 sat level in the two groups, but the increasing pattern was maintained 12 hrs afterward only in those participants who had received wet cupping (p ≤ 0.001). Moreover, the results of repeated measure ANOVA between the two groups at the four stages showed that there were significant differences between the means of O2 saturation level at the 6- and 12-hrs stages (F = 66.92, p ≤ 0.001). Conclusion: Wet cupping caused a continued O2 saturation in the intervention group even up to 12 hrs afterward. Participants expressed liveliness and improved respiration after wet cupping. Therefore, wet cupping is recommended for promoting the health of cigarette smokers.
    Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences Online 11/2013; 29(6):1349-53. DOI:10.12669/pjms.296.3365 · 0.23 Impact Factor
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    • "TCM has long been used in the treatment of a wide variety of illnesses including hypertension. And a series of medical practices were originated including Chinese herbs and formulas, acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping, qigong, Tai Chi (shadow boxing exercise), diet, and exercise therapy [113–116]. Recently, many RCT trials and SRs showed that acupuncture is useful for lowering BP level and improving the circadian rhythm of BP in patients with hypertension [117–120]. Among them, Chinese herbal therapy is the most commonly used. "
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    ABSTRACT: Hypertension is a major public-health issue. Much consensus has been reached in the treatment, and considerable progress has been made in the field of antihypertensive drugs. However, the standard-reaching rate of blood pressure is far from satisfaction. Considering these data and the seriousness of the effects of hypertension on the individual and society as a whole, both economically and socially, physicians must look for more effective and alternative ways to achieve the target blood pressure. Could treatment of hypertension be improved by insights from traditional Chinese medicine? As one of the most important parts in complementary and alternative therapies, TCM is regularly advocated for lowering elevated blood pressure. Due to the different understanding of the pathogenesis of hypertension between ancient and modern times, new understanding and treatment of hypertension need to be reexplored. Aiming to improve the efficacy of Chinese herbal medicine in treating hypertension, the basis of treatment is explored through systematically analyzing the literature available in both English and Chinese search engines. This paper systematically reviews the trends in emerging therapeutic strategies for hypertension from the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine.
    Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 06/2013; 2013:275279. DOI:10.1155/2013/275279 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    • "In addition, the increasing prevalence of hypertension creates a broad market for alternative therapy to aid the management of blood pressure [8]. Several CAM clinical studies, including a substantial number of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and systematic reviews, have shown that CAM is effective and safe for the treatment of hypertension [9] [10] [11] [12]. It can also improve appetite, intestinal motility, metabolism, and emotional factors such as stress. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background. Chinese herbs are potentially effective for hypertension. Qi Ju Di Huang Wan (QJDHW) is a commonly used Chinese herbal medicine as a monotherapy or in combination with other antihypertensive agents for the treatment of essential hypertension (EH). However, there is no critically appraised evidence such as systematic reviews or meta-analyses on the effectiveness and safety of QJDHW for EH. Methods and Findings. CENTRAL, PubMed, CBM, CNKI, VIP, and online clinical trial registry websites were searched for published and unpublished randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of QJDHW for essential hypertension up to January 2013 with no language restrictions. A total of 10 randomized trials involving 1024 patients were included. Meta-analysis showed that QJDHW combined with antihypertensive drugs was more effective in lowering blood pressure and improving TCM syndrome for the treatment of essential hypertension than antihypertensive drugs used alone. No trials reported severe adverse events related to QJDHW. Conclusions. Our review suggests that QJDHW combined with antihypertensive drugs might be an effective treatment for lowering blood pressure and improving symptoms in patients with essential hypertension. However, the finding should be interpreted with caution because of the poor methodological quality of included trials. There is an urgent need for well-designed, long-term studies to assess the effectiveness of QJDHW in the treatment of essential hypertension.
    Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 06/2013; 2013(3):262685. DOI:10.1155/2013/262685 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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