Around Phnom Penh

Fruit vendor at market with rambutan, dragon fruit, citrus, apples, bananas and more. I can't remember; what are the small brown ones in the front called? (Mangosteen and life-changing durian not pictured here.)

Scooter traffic in front of the Old Market (Phsar Chas)

Central Market, not far from a mall and movie theater where I watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 for about three dollars.

Daily aerobics on the river esplanade

I rented a bike from my guest house. Cruising around the city was a great way to get around and explore.

Democracy Monument

Outside Wat Ounalom Monastery

On a bus outside Phnom Penh

Sooooo....this is the after effects from getting cupped. If you don't know what cupping is, you can read about it here on Wikipedia or Acupuncture Today. Around Southeast Asia, when I was in a city and not in the countryside working on farms or teaching English I often opted for a daily massage as they were usually about $3-$5 for an excellent traditional therapeutic treatment. Sometimes these massages came with complimentary aromatic steam baths, which were also awesome and really just a great deal. In Phnom Penh, I saw a sign near my guest house, offering up cupping sessions for just $2. I had tried cupping once during an acupuncture treatment, and thought I would give it a shot. I'm open to trying natural therapeutic treatments - especially for $2. (The lady quickly informed me in broken English that it would be $3 instead of $2.) Well, the "treatment" was not what I expected. For one, it was pretty painful. When I asked the therapist how long the glass cups would stay sucking onto my back skin, she replied, "Yes yes ok!" There was a big box of cups, but I never would have imagined that she was going to use all of them plus more...I counted more than 60 cups popping off of my back afterward. And then she did a second round as I winced and tried to take it like a man. Cupping supposedly helps cleanse your body of toxins. And, in case you aren't sure, the purple spots are yes, bruises. Nearly three months later (I'm very late in updating this blog) I still have some faint circles on my back! The photo above was taken by the therapist immediately after the session. The two below were taken later that evening in my Phnom Penh guesthouse.

Photo of my back covered in purple circles in the reception area of guest house before my final overnight bus ride in Asia from Cambodia back to Bangkok.


Pamela F. said...

This appears to me that this person had no idea what they were doing. You have skin burns as it appears. See your doctor to make sure you are okay. I would definitely see a dermatologist to help you with the scaring. This person has damaged your skin. Please be more careful in your future travels and treatments along the way. Sometimes it not worth the 'bargain' when it comes to your body. I hope you will be able to recover and get your old skin back. Sorry for your mishap.

k haas said...

Thanks for your concern. I did have faint purple circles on my back for several months afterwards, but fortunately, there is no permanent scarring or skin damage.