Traditional Egyptian Medicine ''Cupping Therapy''
Kom Ombo Temple - Medicine reliefs by Kuznetsov_Sergey
The Egyptians were one of the first civilizations to systematically document the practice medicine.
‘From the Egyptians this ancient art was transferred to the Greeks by Cecrops, who emigrated with his companions from Egypt established a colony in Greece, and built the city of Athens in the ‘-ear of the World 2448; although the prac ce is discovered to have existed among the civilized ancients of other Countries, and even in the tribes of some uncultivated savages, yet the origin of it is hid in obscurity, and no records or tradition remain, by which its primary traces may be discovered. It is found that the natives of America, the Hottentots, the Hindoos, the inhabitants of the South Sea Islands, and of New Holland; the Japanese, and the Chinese have long practiced the operation of Cupping.’ ‘It appears from another part of the works of Hippocrates, that very large cups were employed by the more ancient Grecian Physicians for the reduction of dislocation of the vertebrae from a supposition that the bones, when protruded inwardly, might be restored to their proper position by the suction of the Cups.’ ‘From Hippocrates, who died at the age of 101, at Larissa, in Thessaly, 361 years before Christ, the art passed through the hands of succeeding Physicians who Valued or Neglected it!’
Assessing the sounds of the human body was reported in the ancient medical literature. Amongst the earliest known medical manuscripts are the medical papyruses of ancient Egypt dating to the seventeenth century B.C. The Egyptians were one of the first civilizations to systematically document the practice medicine. The first recognized physician was the Egyptian priest Imhotep, who many consider to be the true father of medicine.
The Edwin Smith Papyrus (seventeenth century B.C.) and the Georg Ebers Papyrus (sixteenth century B.C.) are an instructional system of the diagnosis and practice of medicine, which referred to audible signs of disease within the body. A millennium later, Soranus of Ephesus identified uterine disease by sound produced when the hand pressed on the abdomen. Egyptian methods of diagnosis used information obtained by examination of the patient. These papyruses contain astute diagnostic observations. For example, hernias were noted "When you judge a swelling on the surface of the belly...what comes out...caused by coughing." The papyruses also included both medical and mechanical means of treatment. Indeed, the Wall of Twin Temple of Kom Ombo on Nile, which was the center for medical care in ancient Egypt, has a hieroglyphic relief depicting various medical and surgical instruments:
Shown above is the image of the incised relief of the Wall of Temple of Kom Ombo. Many instruments are labeled according to medical use, but some do not have a clear purpose. Could the tube in the lower left corner of the relief between the cupping vessels and shears have been a hearing device used as a stethoscope? (Nunn, J. 1996. Ancient Egyptian Medicine. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Page 165)