Got cupped

I know, I know. I’ve had a lot of internet issues and I’ve been very busy finishing up tests and stressing about planning our upcoming trip, so I apologize for slacking. Mainly, the issue has been my internet; I’ve been trying to write a post about the English competition that Alan and I judged for our junior 2 students (it was very entertaining), but my internet wasn’t strong enough to upload videos or pictures, and really, the post is lackluster without them. I have a few others that are half-completed, and I’ll get to those…eventually. When I have time, that is.

This small post is about the time Tyler, Jacqueline and I went and got cupped.

Cupping is a hugely popular massage technique in China. Today we were talking about how, during the summer, it’s common to see fat Chinese men with no shirts and horrific-looking cupping marks on their backs. I’ve seen many people come back with the bruises, and I’ve always wanted to try it, but I never knew where I could. Until this weekend.

Jacqueline has this great little massage place by her apartment, and offered to take Tyler and I to get full-body massages and cupping done (little did we know, she goes to this massage place more than once a week; she has a great relationship with the people that work there). We actually planned and went on Saturday, but when we showed up, the massage men weren’t there. It’s cold out, and with nothing productive to do while we waited, and not wanting knowing when they would return, we made an appointment for Sunday and said we would return then.

So we came back on Sunday and all the masseuses were there and ready for us. The room was absolutely freezing, with no radiator and no heat coming from the mounted A/C unit. But, this was less of a problem, as in China, you remain fully clothed during your massage.

First was the full-body massage, which was heavenly. There were a few parts that were a little strange– mainly, the man sticking his fingers in my ears, my insanely ticklish legs, and his method of stretching my leg joints out (throwing my legs around wildly over and over). While some parts, mainly my upper back and calves, hurt a bit, when it was over, I felt wonderfully relaxed.

So, it was time to cup. Cupping is a technique that uses heated cups. They heat the inside of the cup and quickly put the mouth over your skin, creating a vacuum that sticks the cup to your skin. This is done all over your back, and the cups are allowed to sit for 10-15 minutes. The process is supposed to pull the toxins from your body to the surface, and the result is a back full of what looks like large, hickey-like bruises. It was a bit uncomfortable- some of my cups really pinched! When the process was done, my back felt tingly and a little sore in some places. Tyler’s cupping marks were a lot darker than mine, but mine were raised for much longer and still were tender at the end of the day.

Still wearing the infamous HAT

While it looks slightly horrifying, I’m glad I went. In fact, I can’t wait to go back after our vacation!

On the 10th, Tyler and I depart on our amazing adventure that I’ve been waiting so long for. We arrive in Hong Kong on the 10th, then travel to Bangkok, Koh Samet (a beach area in Thailand… hope our cupping marks are mostly gone by then!), then back to Bangkok, then up to Xi’an to celebrate Spring Festival in a large Chinese city. Alan will join us for the whole journey, and Lauren will also meet us in Xi’an. Traveling has been the highlight of my time in China, and I’m endlessly excited to see new places and new countries. It’s going to be amazing. See you on the 28th!

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One response to “Got cupped

  1. Pingback: vacation time | make it happen

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