A woman receiving fire cupping in Haikou, Hainan, China.
When NBC cameras zoomed in on 23-time Olympic gold medal winner Michael Phelps practicing cupping by the pool during the Olympics, many Vietnamese Americans must have been smiling.
The alternative medicinal practice has been mistaken by some as child abuse because it leaves a red mark on the body.
Cups are heated up and placed upside down on the body. The idea is to suck out the bad air in a person’s body. Rubbing is a similar concept. Its practitioners use a coin to rub out the bad air.
As late as the year 2,000, 25 years after the first Vietnamese refugees arrived in the United States, a cupping case was brought to court by prosecutors and a mother faced charges of child abuse, according to the Voice of OC
“I basically told the D.A. and social worker that their ignorance might have been excusable 10, 15 years before that, but that we had been here for more than 20 years and that point, and they should have known,” said defense attorney Kiet Huynh
The charges were eventually dropped.
There’s no scientific proof cupping or coining work. Many of these sorts of practices are passed down through generations of cultural practices, much like acupuncture.
You can read one Vietnamese Americans take on cupping in the Voice of OC
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