Sunday, April 22, 2012

Maggie's Experiment with Traditional Chinese Medicine, Take 2

Yesterday I tried one of the other methods of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), 拔火罐 or fire cupping. The practice dates back thousands of years, and can be traced back to 1,000 BC in China.

You take these glass cups, heat the air inside (usually using a match) and then stick the rim to meridians (TCM term, where the qi flows), forming an air tight seal. You can also use a pump that suck the air out, forming suction. The practice is to dispel stagnation along the meridian lines of the body. It is used to treat many conditions such as arthritis, blood disorders, skin problems, fertility and gynecological disorders, and as a general way to promote well being.

When you go to get it the dispensers begin with a massage to get the blood flowing. After that they place the cups on specific points on your back- two down by the base of the spine on either side, two near your shoulder blades, one in the middle of your back, one the in middle of your neck, and two on either sides of the base of your skull. After they place the cups, you stay there for 10-15 minutes, relaxing, and after that they take them off and you're good to go!

I thought it was a fun experience. It didn't hurt much at all and aside from the bruising I feel fine. I haven't noticed any specific changes in my body, but had a good time and might try it again before I head home. Yay Chinese Medicine! Love,

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