Flash Fire Cupping: Massage in China

Cupping Bruises
Cupping Bruises

Savan and I took a respite in the comfort of a hotel spa this week. Before we walked into the building, Savan said to me “This is Chinese torture.”

For a while, I didn’t understand what that statement meant because everything was peaceful yet opulent. It felt as if we were living the lives of a queen or king the way our therapists nurtured us with dandelion tea, watermelon, hot wax, and warm water. My lady’s hands were magic, and the first half of the several hour long relaxation was nirvana.

I love massages. They are such simple reminders that not only are we human enough to feel pain, but we can also ease away the discomfort with the help of other people.

After stress had been released from the arches of my feet, the curve of my brow bone, and the dip in my shoulder blades, my masseuse turned me onto my stomach, and started prepping my back for the flash fire cupping.

First she released the toxins of the world out of my body by rubbing through the knots. Once the palate was ready, she let the mix of lactic acid and human settle as she went to grab the bulbs and matches. I was nodding off to sleep when she came back, lit the bulb on fire, and stuck its cold lips onto the warmly flushed flesh of my body. At first, that’s exactly how it felt— a dead kiss. But then she started sanding my back with the suction, and I now know why “This is Chinese torture.”

At one point, my massage therapist turned to Savan and said “She’s more human than you.”

Savan, whose back looked bruised but just barely, laughed. I guess being more human allows me to soak up more shit. Good and bad.


4 thoughts on “Flash Fire Cupping: Massage in China”

  1. I did cupping once and it didn’t hurt too much compared to blind massage, but it left me with some really bluish spots (they vanished a while after). I’d love to do it again sometime, I felt very relaxed afterwards.


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