large holes on his back. The 66 year old Li Lin, booked in
for the therapy after being told that it would help with his
pain and stiffness and allow him to move freely. However
the procedure left heartbreaking wounds on his back after
his skin started to fester.
Lin began taking the treatment every day from mid-May to
mid-June in the hope of treating his scapulohumeral
periarthritis - more commonly referred to as "frozen
He was told that the therapy, which has a history of several
thousand years in traditional Chinese medicine, would help
him to move freely.
The treatment, known in Chinese as "ba guan", traditionally
utilises heated glass cups to create local suction on the
patient's skin, causing circular bruising that is believed to be
the result of now mobilised and free-flowing blood.
However, instead of having his condition cured, the man from
Chengdu, capital of south-western China's Sichuan Province,
was left with holes on his back that were essentially very
serious, deep burn wounds.
Li said he went for the treatment every day in Chengdu, and
his therapist placed the cups in the same position on his back.
After 10 days he reportedly began to notice blisters on his
back, but convinced the treatment would cure his aching
shoulder, Li asked his wife to remove the blisters so he could
continue the cupping therapy.
Two days before the scheduled end of his treatment, however,
Li started experiencing severe pain on his back and also
started spiking a high fever.
A trip to the doctors then revealed horrifying circular wounds
on his back that had started to fester.
Doctors ordered Li to stop his cupping therapy and he was
given treatment for his wounds.
Reports quoting doctors said Li could have suffered from
serious infections had he not checked himself into hospital in