Cups 拔罐

It's got sights to give you shivers
But it sure would be prettier with you
-Anna Kendrick

Here are some ideas how to beat the common cold:
  1. Drink plenty of fluids
  2. Rest
  3. Load up on Vitamin C
  4. Eat chicken soup
  5. Have your back vacuum sucked into small cups many times all over, leaving an array of circular hickeys.
One recent evening, we went to our favorite massage place to get our muscles pounded to a pulp. As usual, the masseuses were full of helpful suggestions: You need to drink more hot water. You need to exercise more. You need to get massage at least twice month. Your shoulder is too tight so you should get oil massage. Your feet are too dry, so you should get “foot fixing.”*

This particular evening, the masseuse noticed birdMAN’s sniffly nose and said cupping will definitely get rid of that pesky cold (See Dr. Yang).  For only an additional 40 RMB (6.50USD), we again could put Chinese medicine to the test. Will the ancient art of cupping mysteriously release birdMAN from the grips of his bothersome cold?

Soon birdMAN was prone on his stomach and his back lathered with oil. This is what happened:

The masseuse burns up the oxygen inside a glass cup with a flaming cotton ball and in a swift motion, places the cup in appropriate places along the back. As the cup cools, the skin gets sucked up into the cup breaking blood vessels and supposedly promoting blood circulation. The darker the circle, the bigger the problem. As you can see in the below photos, birdMAN’s right shoulder seemed to be suffering.The masseuse deduced that birdMAN spends too much time on the computer. Also his body is too cold (as in energy, not as in ice) because he spends to much time in air conditioning. Good thing he got the cupping. Now his body was in balance.

So the question is: Did cupping get rid of his cold? Are we now disciples of Chinese medicine? Nope. The cold proceeded as normal. Maybe I should have made him some chicken soup and dosed him with Vitamin C.

*”Foot fixing” is my loose translation from the Chinese. I know it involves a knife 刀and fixing修。I am somewhat sure this procedure involves scrubbing callouses off dry feet. Some day I am going to try it just to see what happens.

Chinese Word of the Blog: 拔罐 Báguàn
English Translation: Cupping (as in Chinese medicine, not the kind you drink out of)