Getting cupped by an old fella

07:27 Paul Robinson 1 Comments

I’m living in China to experience new things and with that in mind, I decided to have a Chinese massage.  I went along with my girlfriend to experience some sino-style pampering. The Chinese are masters of taking something familiar and making it unrecognisable, so I didn’t know what to expect. I am a bit of a massage novice but so any people rave on about them, they can’t all be wrong can they?

At the massage place, I said hello and asked for a back massage. I also pointed to my back, just in-case they didn’t understand my Chinese. I lay down a little apprehensively and the masseur got to work. Unfortunately, I’d forgotten how careful you have to be when giving information to a Chinese person – my helpful point towards my back had transformed within the masseur’s brain into a clinical diagnosis of a long standing ailment.  He then spent the next 20 minutes by grinding his fingers into the exact spot I’d carelessly pointed at earlier.

After a while the masseur began working the rest of my back and I became aware how a massage stimulates different levels of consciousness. My mind would wander and I’d start trying to decipher the background conversations and very occasionally, I’d drift towards sleep. However, most of the time was spent concentrating on not screaming as the masseur found yet another muscle to pulverise into a pulp. Maybe my bones are unusually sharp but I breathed a sigh of relief when he stopped gouging out my muscles and started cracking my back. Twenty eight years of life had obviously accumulated in my spine because when he first pulled my shoulder from my back, it sounded like a bag of marbles had been dropped on the floor. Vertebrae were popping all over the place.

After an hour of being prodded, twisted and pulled, I could easily understand how it was the Chinese who invented Kung Fu. They know the human body inside out. The multitude of ways my Chinese masseur managed to derive little bits of pain from my body in the apparent pursuit of pleasure leaves little hope for those on the wrong end of a Kung Fu arse-kicking.

Maybe I’m exaggerating slightly. Whenever I locked across at my girlfriend she seemed in bliss, grinning like a cat getting its belly rubbed. I am proper ticklish too. Just as my ordeal was coming to an end, I let out a little cough. That was way too much information for my masseur and a little green flag waved in his head. He then insisted on me having an additional ‘Cupping therapy’ to cure my cough. My refusals went unheard and I was taken into a private room and told to take my top off.
 I lay down and the masseur began lighting little glass cups with a naked flame and sticking them to my back. Sixty seconds later I had 20-odd glass baubles stuck to my back. He laid a blanket over the top of me and told me to wait a while. Every time I moved, the cups on my back jangled and my girlfriend laughed at the fragile tortoise lay in front of her. If there had been a fire, I would have been useless. The cups tightened my whole chest and the masseur then removed the glass. My girlfriend’s “oohs” and “ahhs” did not fill me with confidence. I stood up and looked at my back in the mirror. It looked like a chequerboard. Some bruises were faint, some were an angry purple colour and there were even a few blisters. Finally though, I could leave.

After what seemed like an afternoon of abuse, I didn’t call the police but instead handed over a 50 kwai note. As I left I did my best to hold in my tickly cough that was still teasing me. I didn’t want him to think he’d only done half a job or he’d start sticking glass balls in places I could only imagine. I knew that when I woke the next day, I was going to feel ever so slightly better or a hell of a lot worse.

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1 comment:

  1. 罐子用多了。
    angry purple colour - 表明经络不通,有淤阻。紫色表明有点糟糕,真的需要再拔几次罐。
    blisters - 表明体内有多余的水份。