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Acupuncture/Passing Out during Cupping

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Question
Dear Dr. Shaobai Wang,

There was a 55 year-old male that was getting dry cupping therapy. There were 3 cups applied- one in the inner part of the left knee, and one on the top of each foot. After about 2-3 minutes of pulling out the air, he started feeling light-headed and passed out. The cups were immediately removed. He remained unconscious for about 30 seconds and then became conscious again.

What does it mean when someone passes out during cupping like that? Do you recommend trying cupping again?


Thank you.

Answer
Since I did not treat the patient, I don't know why this occurred but there are various factors you have to consider:

1. The patient should be in a comfortable position, before starting cupping.
2. Give the patient a clear picture of cupping: What is it about? What kind of sensation the patient is suppose to have from cupping? How long the mark will stay, etc.
3. Do not do cupping when the patient is feeling too tired, nervous, thirsty, etc. You have to remember all the contraindications.
4. Occasionally, some patients are very sensitive to cupping, you should try one very gently first to see what reaction the patient will have. If the patient is really nervous about cupping, it is better to calm the patient down or not do it at all.
5. It is very rare to have an experience such as this one, especially if you did everything properly according to the rule of cupping.
6. If the patient is really nervous about cupping I don't suggest you doing it again.  

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Shaobai Wang

Expertise

Can answer: anything related to acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine for all ages, and all medical related problems. Can't answer: if it's not about acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine

Experience

From my website, shortened for this box: acupuncturechineseherbs.com Dr. Wang hails from a family of expert Chinese doctors and acupuncturists -- there are 7 doctors in his immediate family that practice medicine throughout the world! Over the past 30 years, Dr. Wang’s practice has changed the lives of countless patients and professional medical practices. After being invited by Columbia University’s College of Physicians & Surgeons to be a visiting professor in 1991, Dr. Wang was the first acupuncturist in the United States to treat Pervasive Development Disorder in children, including PDD, ADD, ADHD, cerebral palsy, autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, and hyperactivity. Additionally, Dr. Wang is one of the first acupuncturists to successfully treat both male and female infertility issues with great results. In 2001, Dr. Wang was invited as a main speaker in the FACES national conference at New York University to talk about the treatment of epilepsy by Chinese herbs. Because of his outstanding professional activities, he was invited by Harvard University, Columbia University, NYU Medical School, Mount Sinai Medical School and even Colgate-Palmolive to talk about TCM and acupuncture. Additionally, he has received attention from the media, like CBS news, regional and national publications. He has treated doctors from Columbia University Presbyterian Hospitals, Yale University Medical School Hospitals and Mount Sinai Medical School Hospital. Dr. Wang is a TCM and acupuncture consultant for Mount Sinai Medical Schools.

Organizations
Mount Sinai Medical School consultant for acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine

Publications
Book: Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Epilepsy (in Chapter 17) There are various other articles too but that one is the most important.

Education/Credentials
1978-1983 MD, Department of Chinese Medicine, Henan Chinese Medical University, Henan, China 1983-1985 Intern and Resident, Luoyang-Yiyang Hospital, Luoyang, China 1985-1988 Fellow of Chinese Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture, Department of Acupuncture, Guangzhou Chinese Medical University, Guangzhou, China 1991-1993 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Medicine, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA

Awards and Honors
1991 Selected by the Chinese Government as one of the top sixty youngest acupuncturists in all of China 1991 Invited by the Northwest Center of Oriental Medicine for acupuncture demonstration, Chicago, USA 1995 Invited by the SinoVision for a thirty minute acupuncture TV program, New York, USA 1995 Invited by the Chinese Voice for a thirty minute acupuncture radio program, New York, USA 1996 Invited again by the SinoVision for another thirty minute acupuncture TV program New York, USA 1996 Invited by the International Channel for a thirty minute acupuncture TV program Los Angeles, USA 2000 Collected in “Who’s Who”, New York, USA 2001 Invited as a main speaker in the FACES conference to talk about the treatment of epilepsy by Chinese herbs, New York, NY, USA 2002 Interviewed twice by the New York Residence 2004 Interviewed by Dermatology Times (see blog post here) 2005 Invited by Touro College to teach Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine 2005 Invited by the New Center to teach Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine 2006 Spoke about Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture at Columbia and Harvard Universities in October and gained permission to treat patients in different hospitals 2007 Invited by KSO2 Sphinxtv NEWS to talk about acupuncture (watch via YouTube) 2009 Invited by CBS NEWS to talk about acupuncture and modern medicine with Dr. Lapook. For more information about Dr. LaPook, please visit the CBS news website here. Videos are available via the CBS website here, here and here. 2010 Invited by both New York University Medical School and Mount Sinai Medical School to lecture about acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine 2011 Invited by Colgate Company and New York University Medical School to talk about acupuncture and Chinese Medicine 2011 Interviewed by NEWSDAY, Long Island, New York

Past/Present Clients
20,000 patients over the years -- there are too many to name here.

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