Cupping at Massage Places

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    I have heard that the marks stay on your back for a week. Does anyone know what the benefit of this is on your health? Is it worth the sucker marks?

    Also, I go to a little place near the vegetable market near the people’s park. Any recommendations for any full body massage places for under 50 kuai?


    Hey there,

    Most places offer normal massage for 25-30 yuan for 60 minutes – that’s about the average price, I find. As far as the cupping (bahuoguan), it’s traditional Chinese medicine and is meant to cure all sorts of ailments – cold, flu, stomach ailments, etc. Check out the Wikipedia entry on it: Fire cupping on Wikipedia. It’s not painful and the bruises only last for a few days.



    The marks stayed on my back for two weeks, and 5 days, first of all.

    I did start to feel better from a summer cold I was getting and I genuinely liked the sucking sounds that came from the removal of the cups. I also enjoyed the explanations to my kids and strangers while we were at the beaches in Eastern Canada.

    I am now the Cliff Clavin of chinese medicine.

    I sincerely appreciate all that you do to promote the City of Cheng Du along with all of the activities in and around Sichuan.


    Yeah I can imagine the looks you’d get in North America, hahaha. Regarding the pain and length that the marks stick around, I think it depends on the conditions within your body and how much pressure they use during the cupping procedure. I recently did this again (3rd time) and they did my neck and it hurt like hell while the cups were on. So I take back the “it’s not painful” part!


    Thanks Charlie, nice to hear that cupping is a good treatment.


    I personally think cupping is useful for removing tension at specific points, but I’m not so sure of the merits of blanket cupping. It’s also something that you shouldn’t be doing more than once a month to allow the body to heal, particularly the skin. I’ve had some very aggressive cupping (high suction) for neck and back tension immediately following acupressure/massage, and it’s very helpful in relaxing the muscle, but I also have marks remaining on the skin from a session 2+ months prior.

    As with most things, try it at least once for yourself and see how you feel. I haven’t yet encountered any ‘Killed By Cupping’ horror stories!!

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