Friday, August 6, 2010

Cup Massage

During my semester in Hong Kong, I attended an elective "Traditional Chinese Medicine" class where I not only met some of my very good friends but also learned about some crazy, effective medical procedures performed primarily by the East. It wasn't until I reached Shanghai, when I actually participated in such "procedures".

I may call them procedures; however, they are part of every day life. Herbal nutrition, moxibustion (take a stick of herbs and burn one end near your body), acupuncture (infamous needle piercing), and, as the picture shows above, cupping. All the practices are based off a few theories ranging from Yin and Yang to the belief that the body holds a separate channel which allows the flow of "Qi" (Chee), which really influences the body as much as blood vessels or nerves. If your flow of Qi is messed up, whereever it's blocked is the point of damage. Following?

So massage therapy really helps get the Qi flowing properly again. It may take awhile, but it is quite affective (I mean, who doesn't like getting massages). But also paired with the massage is cupping, a process where they quickly insert and remove a flame into a glass bowl and then push/twist the bowl onto ones back. It's actually quite fun and I recommend trying it if you're in the position. It hurts, tickles, and makes you feel almost paralyzed while the skin is sucked into the bowl (it goes in about a good 1-2 inches, leaving hefty sized welts after the 20-30 minutes of "relaxation").

Needless to say, my back definitely experienced some removal of bad blood and my Qi should hopefully be flowing properly once again. Somehow I doubt it, but I'll still respect the people who get cup massages (in their own homes) on a regular "twice-a-month" schedule.


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