Is Traditional Chinese Medicine heading West?

Cupping – a form of ancient Chinese therapy has been made famous in Western culture by Olympic swimmers (especially champion Michael Phelps) this year. My grandma used to call it “bamboo sucking” as she had her own bamboo contraption to use and we grandkids were her (unpaid) therapy assistants of sort. We learned how to heat the air in bamboo tubular “cups” then place them where she wanted – on her shoulders and back.

My cup marks

My cup marks

I have always been a believer of this (often debated) method of treatment. Records have been found in China regarding its practice since 280AD and similar cupping in Egypt since 1550BC so let the debates continue. To put forth its pro’s and con’s is beyond me but I do know that this method of gently activating capillary stagnation and soothing muscle knots work for me.

When back in Singapore, a traditional Chinese muscle and joint accupressure/”cupping” session is almost like a spa treatment for me. This time though, with a slightly aching pulled muscle from jogging, I was given an adhesive bandage with some herbal paste after the “cups” were removed.

Herbal paste on

Herbal paste (placebo or not) does work for me.

I accept Western Medicine but I also believe Traditional Chinese Medicine holds great weight and they both can co-exist. Since “cupping” marks have been made public during the Rio Olympics, I’ll show mine. 😀



5 responses to “Is Traditional Chinese Medicine heading West?

  1. I think the two should go hand in hand. I am a big fan of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve always wondered about that cupping thing and if it works….

    Liked by 1 person

    • To me it does. Do you remember as kids you’re sometimes told you have ‘perut angin’ (wind in stomach), mild cupping was done on me then & it worked without taking med. Since the I’ve been a believer.


      • Oh yes, I remember perut angin. ven till now my mom will say so when I have a tummy ache. Then there was this oil – minyak limau – red colour Chinese oil which my mom used when I was a kid and I conitnue to use it as an adult. Now my kids! LOL. Cupping has not made its round yet. Hahah!


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