Man sustains blisters and scars on back after cupping therapy at luxury spa

PHOTO: Man sustains blisters and scars on back after cupping therapy at luxury spa

SINGAPORE - A man sustained blisters and scars on multiple parts of his back after a session of cupping therapy at a Beach Road luxury spa on Oct 6.

In a phone interview with citizen journalism website Stomp, the man named Fang said that this was the first time a cupping treatment had gone awry for him. He added that he previously underwent the same therapy successfully at other places.

Fang elaborated on his bad experience at the spa, and said that blisters started to form on his shoulder after the "male masseuse who attended to (him) cupped (his) shoulder for a very long time."

He added that the masseuse did not remove the cups after noticing the blisters, and had explained to him that the blisters had formed due to his body's "damp heat toxins".

After the cupping treatment, Fang said his blisters itched and he ran a high fever due to infection.

He consulted three doctors and one traditional chinese medicine (TCM) practitioner, who all told him the blisters were caused by prolonged cupping treatment. The latter also advised Fang to ask for compensation as he would sustain scars after the blisters healed.

Fang and the spa later agreed on a compensation of the medical fees incurred due to the treatment gone wrong.

An alternative Chinese therapy method, cupping therapy is believed to help mobilise blood flow, promoting the healing of a wide range of medical ailments. It requires a therapist to warm the air inside a glass cup using a flame, to create a suction effect on the patient's skin.

minlee@sph.com.sg