The Fire Cupping Experience

WARNING: This entry contains a graphic image view at your own risk.

Arissa who is from Shanghai and I often adventure out on the weekends to spas. She finds deals on Groupon, it is in Chinese so I rely on her to find them and off we go. Our latest adventure was purchased 3 months ago and unable to get in until now. I thought we were going for a facial… not a facial. When we arrived the lady told her the RMB 38 (approx. $6) package was a back and leg massage. That is what Arissa told me. I was looking forward to a facial and traveled around the city with no make up on in preparation but a back and leg massage will be fine.

There were posters of ancient Chinese medicine where it shows how all the body parts are connected. That should have been a give away and then Arissa says something like I don’t like when they have the posters on the wall, they try to show they can do traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) but not everyone can do it.

A device that I am going to call an ice scraper is used all over and down my back.  I really thought I was being skinned alive. It didn’t hurt much but was on the border line of didn’t feel good and uncomfortable. I have learned it is call “gua” and it is to release my blocked Qi, my energy. Then she did a “normal” back massage and worked out some knots in different ways than I am familiar with, still not the most pleasant.  Then I hear the strike of a match and the clinking of glass, I shout to Arissa, are they doing cupping? Before she can even answer me a glass cup is placed on my back and I jumped out of the skin I have left from the scraping. This cup is then moved all around my back on one side,  removed and placed on the other side. This is cupping? Cupping is a bazillion year old practice of removing toxins and other ailments. It is not that bad I thought as she went back to  more “normal” massage.

I hear the clink and the match again, it is not over! This time many cups are place on my back, staying in place this time they are removed and placed in new places. I jump again out of my skin when one is placed on my butt. They don’t hurt, uncomfortable, you just feel pulling of the skin. After it was over I was told to not drink cold drinks, eat spicy food, or shower until the next day.  I am scarred, mentally and physically, I am told the lady bug look goes away in approx. 2 weeks (no bathing suits, sleeveless or anything that exposes my back) I guess on the positive side I didn’t have many bad toxins  because my lady bug spots aren’t purple, when they are dark purple I guess that is bad. Really? That is not purple and is normal? I went home and took a 3 hour nap, more like a cupping coma too much Qi must have been released.  I was out.

It was an experience, I don’t feel the need to have it done again. Next acupuncture and the little fish that nibble the dead skin off your feet. I hope Arissa provides me more warning of what is going to take place next time so I can mentally prepare.

The Glass Cups

My Back After!


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Shelli Browning
    Jul 11, 2011 @ 08:23:04

    After that, acupuncture is a piece of cake! Holy mackeral – you’re a brave girl!


  2. Your favorite Pennsylvania Sister-in-law
    Jul 12, 2011 @ 09:45:45

    OMG! Your poor back! I can’t imagine what that must have felt like, Did your friend look like that too?


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