Suction cup (medicine)
See also: Suction cup
In traditional Medicine, the suction cup is a container, usually out of glass and the shape of bell intended to look after by inducing a “revulsion” , by effect of suction on the skin.
To heat the air and to induce a relative vacuum during his cooling, one inserts there a compress, cotton, oakum or a piece of paper soaked with alcohol ignited in the container. The flame dies out spontaneously when the air is consumed. The suction cup is then applied to the back of the person to treat, so that while cooling, by its contraction it produces a powerful effect of suction.
History of the name and the conceptThe Dictionary of the French Academy in its first edition (1694) described (Page 628) the medical suction cup as a “Vessel of glass which one applies to the skin with candles or oakum lit to attract bad blood” . It specifies that one calls, “ Ventouses cigs, the suction cups which one applies, without making then of scarification ”. The edition of 1762 defines the suction cup as a “ surgical instrument ” and precise which it can be metal. (of copper, money, etc) and that its object is “to attract with violence moods of the inside to the outside” . The éditiond E 1798 still specifies that it has as an aim “ to raise the skin and to produce a local irritation ”. Lastly, the edition of 1832 additions that one “makes there the vacuum by the means of fire, or of a suction pump, in order to raise the skin and to produce a local irritation”.
PrincipleThe relative vacuum created in the suction cup dilates the pores and the blood-vessels uperficiels (capillary). This produced a cutaneous congestion localized on the site of the application of the vacuum, translated by a change of aspect of the skin which reddens and covers reddish points with purplished. This congestion caused locally, with the top of the presumedly sick body was considered to attract moods or the " bad sang" or the excess of blood which congests a subjacent body. A more contemporary explanation could be than caused blood flow and the stress on the skin could respectively relieve congestion the subjacent zone (by effect known as of “revulsion” ), and give a whiplash to the Immune system. The scarification which was assistant in the case of the suction cups known as “wet” could also contribute to a doping of the immune system, but by adding however a risk of infection).
La suction cup applied sucessivement in several places of the back, the chest or the belly (according to the presumedly sick body), or by means of several suction cups posed simultaneously was in any case considered to accelerate the cure of the patient. One can suppose that a certain psychological effect can also be produced, in particular in the children.
This medical means still used in Europe and in the USA at the beginning of the 20th century is not taught any more by contemporary medicine known as modern. One thus classifies it in medicines known as " traditionnelles".
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