A Queensland grandmother says she was left with “horrible” second-degree burns and blisters after undergoing cupping therapy.
Shailer Park woman Larita De Ruysscher was recommended “fire cupping” — an ancient practice where glass cups are heated to increase circulation and relieve pain — to resolve issues with her neck and shoulder.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Botched ‘fire cupping’ session leaves grandmother with second-degree burns.
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However, after 30 minutes inside Herbal Clinic by Footcare Haven in Loganholme in late September, she was left in excruciating pain.
GP Dr Richard Kidd told 7NEWS that burns are a “known risk of cupping” and to some extent “it’s expected”.
Larita De Ruysscher says she was left with serious burns when she tried alternative therapy to resolve issues with her neck and shoulder. Credit: 7NEWS
But others have put the painful skin injuries down to “poor technique”.
De Ruysscher went back to the business and claimed she was told the weeping wounds were normal.
“You don’t burn patients. It’s therapeutically not beneficial, plus it breaks the skin (and) it’s open to infection,” Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association president Waveny Holland told 7NEWS.
On Thursday, the business owner doubled down.
“In China, it’s very common. It really depends on the person’s skin.” the manager said.
Fire cupping is an ancient practice where glass cups are heated to increase circulation and relieve pain. Credit: 7NEWS
Despite maintaining they did nothing wrong, the business has apologised to De Ruysscher for her experience.
She is now considering launching a complaint with the Office of the Health Ombudsman.
“It’s really not very good and it’s really painful,” she said.
The ancient healing technique involves suction of the skin, often with glass cups, in sore zones on the body.
It’s been used to treat ailments including arthritis, body pain, asthma, high blood pressure and headaches, and has proven popular with Olympic swimmers in the past.
The area of treatment can be left raw and bruised although medical professionals are split on its effectiveness.
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