The Effects of Wet Cupping Therapy on the Blood Levels of Some Heavy Metals: A Pilot Study

J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2018 Dec;11(6):375-379. doi: 10.1016/j.jams.2018.06.005. Epub 2018 Jun 27.


Background and aim: Heavy metals have been recognized as toxins for centuries. Cupping therapy has been shown to aid in the excretion of accumulated fluids and toxins from the interstitial fluid. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of wet cupping therapy on blood levels of heavy metals.

Methods: Thirteen healthy male individuals [mean age ± standard deviation, 28.47 ± 6.18] participated in this study. Venous blood samples were collected 5 min before and 30 days after the wet cupping therapy. Five points of the posterior neck and bilateral perispinal areas of the neck and thoracic spine were selected for cupping therapy. The levels of aluminium (Al), zinc (Zn), and cadmium (Cd) were measured using an atomic absorption spectrophotometer.

Results: The levels of heavy metals (Al, Zn, and Cd) after cupping therapy were significantly lower than the levels before therapy.

Conclusions: These results suggest that wet cupping therapy has an excretory effect on the kidney. Wet cupping therapy may clear blood from excess heavy metals.

Keywords: complementary therapy; cupping; heavy metal; wet cupping therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy*
  • Adult
  • Bloodletting*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metals, Heavy / blood*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Young Adult


  • Metals, Heavy