This week Tina and I went for a full-body massage.  I'm not a huge fan of massages (unless Tina gives them ;-) but it was a nice time to get out of the house and spend some time together.  After the massage, Tina decided that she wanted to get the fire-cupping treatment.  If you don't know what that is, it's when the masseuse takes spherical glass cups, uses fire to burn away all of the oxygen inside, and then places it on your skin.  Since there is no oxygen in the cup, it sucks your skin into the cup, kind of like a continuous hicky.  They leave the cup on there for a few minutes and then remove it.  What remains are dark circles where the blood vessels broke.  This treatment is meant to remove the body's impurities, especially if one is retaining too much water or fire.  The darker the circle, the more you needed the treatment.

Tina gets this done every once in a while, and I think it really works, because the areas where she feels the most pain usually yield the darkest circles, and she feels much better afterward.  In my 5+ years in China I'd never tried it, so this time when she decided to get it, I thought why not me too.  It's better than sitting around waiting for her to finish, so we ordered a round of fire cups for both of us.  Here is the result.
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I'll be carrying this unique pattern on my back for the next few weeks.  And as you can see, I really needed it, even though my body wasn't feeling bad at the time.  Some of the circles are so dark, they obscure the tattoo beneath it.  It was definitely uncomfortable though not unbearable, and my back still feels a bit tender a few days later.  Kind of like a sunburn.  At any rate, it's not often that I get to try something new so chalk this up to another China experience.  Now if I can just muster up the courage to try acupuncture....
 


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