Saturday, October 04, 2008

Scraping and Cupping

A few weeks ago, Desi and I were strolling through this upscale hutong. I spotted a place where they practice TCM (traditional Chinese medicine). It looked clean and well kept among all the gentrification. So, I figured, when we come back with the kids, I might go for some fire cupping. This is a procedure we've seen done on TV. My curiosity had been piqued...

So there I was, laying face down on this table. After an opening massage/diagnosis (as you can tell, I know nothing about TCM and was in it for the cultural experience rather than the healing), the practitioner (what do you call a person who performs TCM?) convinced me that I should get scraping done as well. Actually, there was a whole list of procedures he recommended, but I held the line at that.

Scraping involved this animal horn being roughly moved up and down my back. I don't have much to say about it other than, yeah, it kinda hurt.

Then we moved on to the much anticipated fire cupping. How to describe it? You take these round glass containers. You hold them right above the patient's back. You stick a fire into the cups, and then quickly suction them onto the patient's back. You leave the cups there for a few minutes, before popping them off. The dominant feeling? Not heat, but a pulling sort of pressure. It's mildly uncomfortable, is how I'd put it.

I'm sure Desi will have more to say about the whole experience...

~Steve

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