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Don’t try this at home: Chinese firefighters step in when cupping therapy goes wrong

Glass cup removed from man’s back with a hacksaw after he uses kit he bought online to treat pain

PUBLISHED : Friday, 25 August, 2017, 3:32pm
UPDATED : Friday, 25 August, 2017, 4:56pm

In central China, firefighters were called on not to rescue a cat stuck up a tree, but a man with a glass cup stuck to his back.

The man, identified by his surname Hu, had been performing cupping therapy on himself at his home in Wuhan, Hubei province on Tuesday night to treat back pain, the Wuhan Evening News reports.

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He had bought the cups – which are used in traditional medicine that has been practised in China for thousands of years – online.

They have a mechanical pump to create a vacuum on the skin in a process that is believed to get rid of stagnation and is used to treat anything from pain to respiratory conditions.

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But he was unable to remove one of the cups.

The suction was so great that an area of skin about 5cm high was pulled into the cup, causing bleeding, his family told the local newspaper on Thursday.

They tried unsuccessfully to remove the cup using a hammer and a pair of pliers before taking Hu to hospital.

Doctors were also unable to remove the cup so the family decided to take Hu to the nearest fire station.

Four firefighters stepped in to deal with the problem, using a hacksaw to create a small crack in the top of the cup to relieve the pressure so that they could remove it.

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A shocked Hu was happy to be free of the cup but told the newspaper that the incident would not stop him from applying the cups again in the future – though he said he would be more careful next time.