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"A Cup, Something More and a 13th Meaning"

August 26, 2011

A 'CUP' is a simple object which is defined in twelve different ways to signify twelve different diverse facts. It is defined by many lexicons as follows:
1. a. A small open container, usually with a flat bottom and a handle, used for drinking. b. Such a container and its contents. c. A unit of capacity or volume equal to 16 tablespoons or 8 fluid ounces (237 milliliters).
2. Abbr. Unit of measurement.
3. The bowl of a drinking vessel.
4. The chalice or the wine used in the celebration of the Eucharist.
5. A decorative cup-shaped vessel awarded as a prize or trophy.
6. Sports A golf hole or the metal container inside a hole.
7. Either of the two parts of a brassiere that fit over the breasts.
8. An athletic supporter having a protective reinforcement of rigid plastic or metal.
9. A sweetened, flavored, usually chilled beverage, especially one made with wine: claret cup.
10. A dish served in a cup-shaped vessel: fruit cup.
11. a. A cuplike object. b. Biology A cuplike structure or organ.
12. A lot or portion to be suffered or enjoyed.

Yet there is a thirteenth meaning which says that it is an instrument used for medical purposes. A thing which is helpful in healing the diverse medical needs of patients suffering from abdominal, liver and kidney complaints and most of all to relieve pain. There are two style wet and hot based on the pain you are going through. The process has gained the name cupping based on the treatment with cups. Wikipedia suggests a cup as a glass vessels of bulb-like shape used for vacuum therapy, cup massage and other types of therapy. Their volumes range from 30 to 60 ml. The therapeutic effect of medical cups is controversial though still widely used in many other countries. However the treatment has got many followers in Tibetan medicine. It is a rare sight to see the cupping treatment openly. It is only applied to deserving patients.
Kochi witnessed a cupping treatment in August as part of the 10th Men-Tse-Khang Medical camp which was held from August 4-6, 2011 at Ashirbhavan, Kacheripady, Ernakulam hosted by Friends of Tibet (Kerala). The patient came to the camp with extreme body pain. Doctor Tara Ngwang Lodoe was consulted and he found out that the patient needed cupping. He readily applied the cups on his body and created a semi vacuum state in the body. Then he applied a slightly hot copper pot and knocked heavily on the spot. Immediately the pain was relieved. Cupping is as simple as that but only to those who deserve it.
Appu Jacob John is a Friends of Tibet Campaigner based in Kerala. He can be reached at: appu.john@friendsoftibet.org. More about Friends of Tibet Wellbeing Programme: www.friendsoftibet.org/wellbeing/

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