Friday, 24 July 2009

Back in time or 1875 Medieval sh*t

This week, I have sunk really low in husband’s eyes.

I engaged in an old Chinese therapy, and kept telling everyone around me, people who actually live in this century, just how enjoyable that was.

My mother brought a set of banki for me. Banki, or suction cups, have been used in Azerbaijan for years to detoxify and de-stress Azeri bodies. Looooovely stuff. Really, it is just like a very strong back massage.

Back in my childhood days, we used them in a proper, traditional way: with cotton wool on a stick, some spirit, and fire. The hot glass then sucks on to your back, leaving lovely dark circles. And the darker are the circles, the more effective the procedure was meant to be.

Nowadays, cupping got somewhat more sophisticated, and my mother did not bring the old thick glass cups. (they are probably getting dusty on top of the old wardrobe in my Baku flat)

Instead, she produced an elegant little box with a cute semi-naked Chinese girl on the cover, smiling invitingly over her shoulder.

Wink-wink. Relax and enjoy, she seems to say. Look at me- she says- how gorgeous is that?

Inside, there were plastic cups of various sizes, with little green valves on top, and a pump. I am more keen on these plastic cups, without the whole cotton wool on fire ritual. Yet, the result is just as disgusting, and my back is now covered in bruises that look like giant squid love bites.

Husband is disapointed. F**** medieval, 1875 witchcraft b****cks, he says.

-He-he-he- I reply, and nod, and retire to my mother’s room for some more Chinese torture. Because, it feels good.

Oh, and Gwyneth Paltrow thinks it is worth a lot of money, and does not feel embarrassed to show it off at a film premiere, so why should I?
Just because something is old does not mean it is dangerous for you. Would not use it on my child though.


  1. I agree with you. I often have cupping when I go for Acupuncture, I suppose hubby thinks that is Medieval as well. The acupuncturist does it the way you described with the Cotton woll and spirits and used the heavy glass cups. Actually I am having it done tonight.

  2. I always wanted to try acupuncture or something like cupping. funny about the husband ;)

  3. You see my hubby is used to all sorts of witch-craft (in his eyes) and is trying to convince everyone that my mother is flying around on the brumstick. He has not witnessed this one though. I just love the feeling when you take them off. Also, if people are paying for it, maybe this could be a business idea? A bit of cotton wool, alcohol and few glass cups and i'm in business. Hmm.

  4. Western civilization has a certain level of arrogance. We believe that because of the advancements in technological progress we are much better off than the rest of the world. I'm not a total Luddite, but when I compare a tasteless, odorless genetically modified tomato from an American grocery store with a succulent flavorful vegetable from a Baku bazaar, I am starting to have doubts.

    Same thing with suction cups therapy: just because it is ancient and low-tech doesn't mean it's ineffective. I'd rather do this than pop a pill. And I think it's not just me - people are waking up to these kinds of things. The other day I bought a tube of expensive organic toothpaste (no fluoride! herbal extracts!). As soon as I brushed my teeth I realized that this was an exact replica of the old Soviet toothpaste of my childhood.

    За что боролись?...

  5. I've seen those little cups, but never tried the procedure. Maybe I'll have to do it some day... Sounds wonderful!

  6. Willing to entertain almost any sort of evidence that folk remedies may actually have some value. But that Gwyneth Paltrow did it should never ever be used as a supporting argument. Not even in jest.

    @Riyad Mammadov - Agree about the Baku tomatoes although seems to me they haven't been readily available in the bazaars for four or more years. Perhaps they are being shipped to Russia were a greater price can be had. Or more likely, like so many other things, its no longer economical to grow locally. And please don't fall for the "organic" thing. Its nothing more than a 20-30% surcharge for white people to pay for absolution.

  7. @ Fab Cook: Are you suggesting celebrities are not to be worshiped?!!! LOL

  8. I laughed out out when I read this;)) I haven't been cupped in the longest time and boy, I am beginnign to crave it. Those banki were awesome. And the best part of the whole thing is that they really worked!:)