Cupping Therapy and Hijama

 Interview With Kira Murphy A leading Acupuncture and cupping therapist - USA

By Dr Tamer Shaban

1-      Please give us a detailed introduction about yourself, location, education, professional membership, current position and how, where and why you learned cupping therapy?

Kira Murphy recieved her Masters of Science in Oriental Medicine degree (M.S.O.M.) from Southwest Acupuncture College

  in Boulder, Colorado. Her extensive graduate program lasted 4.5 years with over 3000 hours of training, which includes over 1100 hours of clinical hands on training. She is a licensed Diplomate of Oriental Medicine (Dipl. OM) through the National Committee for the Certification of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine(NCCAOM ) . She is also certified by the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM ) in Clean Needle Technique and is state licensed as a Licensed Acupuncturist in the Colorado. None of these licenses have ever been revoked or suspended for any reason.

Clinical Training
Clinical Internship in 5 Element (emotional) Acupuncture- Abbye Silverstein
Clinical Intership in Oncology - Nina Herrick- B.A, M.A, L.Ac., Dipl. Ac
Clinical Intership in  Dr. Tan Pain Management- Douglas Frank- Ed.M., C.M.T., L.Ac
Clinical Internship- Women's Care- Mary Saunders-B.A., Dipl. Ac., L.Ac 

Injection Therapy Training

Injection Therapy: 

2 Day Injection Therapy Workshop-Michael Young- Ac., Lac

Guna Seminars:
Physiological Regulating Medicine in Aesthetic Medicine, Pain Management & Mesotherapy.
Part 1: Introduction to PRM and Pain Management, Differentiaiton of Therapeutic Protocols of Aesthetic and Pain Management.
Part 2: Injection Techniques, Clinical uses of Biotherapeutic Medicines in Aesthetics, Analysis of Therapeutic Protocols in Aestheic Medicine: Cellulite, Local Adiposity, Wrinkles, Face and Neck Bio-lifing, Breast Toning, Tissue Toning, Bags under the eyes, Dilation of Capillaries, Detox Program, Pain Managment, Mesotherapy an Innovative Way to Boost Beauty, Health, and Wellness of your Patients Using Cutting-Edge Medicines. 

Seminars Other:
- Pulse Diagnosis, Treating Infertility- Martha Lucas- Ph.D., L.Ac
- Practical Pulse Diagnosis- Martha Lucas- Ph.D., L.Ac
- Treating Children with Oriental Medicine & Shoni Shin- Soma Glick- D.O.M.(N.M.) L.Ac.
-Cosmetic TrainingAdvanced Constitutional Facial .

Cosmetic Acupuncture:
Acupuncture Renewal ™ - Mary Elizabeth Wakefield L.Ac., M.S., M.M
Acupuncture and Massage for Facial Rejuvenation- Virginia Doran- M.S. L.Ac., L.M.T
Mei Zen style Cosmetic Acupuncture for Face & Neck- - Martha Lucas- Ph.D., L.Ac
Injection Therapy with use of homeopathics therapeutic Protocols in Aestheic Medicine: Cellulite, Local Adiposity, Wrinkles, Face and Neck Bio-lifing, Breast Toning, Tissue Toning, Bags under the eyes, Stretch Marks, and Scars.
Mater Level Reiki 

Cupping training by various teachers at Southwest Acupuncture College in Gunbarrel Colorado.


2-      Please, give us some details about any published clinical trial, paper, article, book of you?


The link below is a video I made to help describe cupping to patients as well as any person who may not be familiar with cupping.



3-      Give us a detailed description about the cupping therapy type you use, how to do this type, for what conditions, number of treatment prescribed and how many treatments considered a prescribed course of cupping therapy?

I use many types of cupping therapy depending on the diagnosis. I like to use glass cups and fire cupping for acute wind attacks such as colds and flu. I use sliding cupping along the bladder channels to bring the qi to the surface to fight the invading pathogen. For acute attacks the patient may only need one session.

For muscular issues I like to use manual suction cups. With this type of cupping I can choose the strength of suction and be very specific on location. I can also add suction if the amount of color is not showing up that I'd like to see. For muscular problems I may need to see a patient 2-5 times. 

For cases of toxic heat in the blood I do bleeding cupping with glass cups. I may need to see the person 5-10 times. It always depends on proper diagnosis with pulse, palpation, intake and tongue evaluation.

 4-      Give the new cupping therapists the key of success and the tips you gained from your practice?

Make sure you use enough oil or liniment when doing sliding cupping.

Be careful with the amount of alcohol you use on your cotton ball make sure it is not dripping. Make sure the alcohol has not dripped on the patient or inside the cup.

Practice. Don't be afraid to add a short cupping treatment to an acupuncture treatment. 

5-      Please, describe in details the best and the difficult case that you treated by cupping therapy?

 The best and most difficult case treated by cupping was severe facial acne caused by toxic heat in the blood. We did cupping bleeding on Du14. We pricked Du14 3-5 times with a lancet the placed the cup over the top. This pulled out toxic blood. The blood appeared to be bright red but very coagulated. This clears heat as well as wind (which is associated with the skin). We did only this point with bleeding cupping once a week for a month. By the end of the month the acne was almost completely gone. With some diet coaching and regular treatments we managed to clear up the patients acne problem. 

6-      Describe the most noted side effect of cupping therapy and how you deal with it?

The most noted side affect I see is bruising and if the suction is too intense a welt may occur. We always try and avoid a raised welt. If the intensity is too strong we release the cup. We always ask for feedback from the patient. We may also use arnica on the darkened areas that look bruised. 

7-      How you see the future of cupping ?

Cupping seems to be a forgotten art and medicine. Many people learn it and then quickly forget it. With the latest technology media, websites, videos, and news coverage hopefully people will come to understand the benefits of cupping. Some people are afraid to try cupping do to the discoloration and fear of bruising. If cupping is properly done it should not be painful and is actually quite relaxing. If explained and demonstrated on patients hopefully people will overcome their fears of cupping and improve their health with the therapeutic benefits of cupping. The more knowledge that can be passed on the better. 

8-      In your opinion, what is the theory behind the cupping therapy effect?

When cupping is preformed qi and blood is brought to the surface or to the wei level of qi. This level of qi is the defensive qi which can be activated, energized and stimulated into healing the body. When done in specific areas such as injured and or sore muscles it may also pull toxins or lactic acid to the surface where the lymphatic system can properly dispose and detoxify. More qi and blood are circulated also causing an improvement to health and functionality of the area and our body system as a whole. 

9-      Your recommendation to enhance the practice?

My recommendation to enhance the practice is for acupuncturists or other qualified therapists to simply start adding a 5-10 minute cupping treatment to their session. The more we practice the more we learn. 

10-   How people can contact you?