According to a paraphrase by Tim Minchin, alternative medicine is something that not proven to work or has a positive side that really works. When alternative medicine really works it is called “medicine”. The only benefit from treatments like homeopathy, acupuncture and most herbal supplements, as most people believe, is that it will feel better after taking these treatments because these treatments provide a placebo effect.

So what is the negative side you will question me? Let them do what they want to get rid of the pain and feel better. But there will be downside also as one woman recently found dangerousness of these alternative therapies.

A Californian Sexagenarian tried to get rid of her pain after falling down from a hight where she hurt her shoulder by doing cupping therapy. This therapy is an alternative remedy which is based on the magical idea that physical discomfort can be caused by “stagnant” blood and poor energy flow. For this treatment practitioners use cups to create suction on the skin, drawing blood to the surface of the skin which will create enormous bruises.

This cupping therapy has been dated back as far as ancient Egyptian times. This therapy has not been described by science. This has to be performed by a trained professional on a healthy patient as uneducated performance will lead to side effects such as burns and infections. This Californian woman was suffering from these side effects after this therapy and she reported it to Journal JAMA Dermatology with a collection of pretty horrific blisters.

She used a handheld pump to perform this cupping therapy known as “dry cupping” (Don’t ask what is “wet cupping”). In this particular therapy, low pressure is created inside a cup which will be left on the skin for three minutes. But the woman kept the cup on the skin for 30 minutes as slept during the therapy. She woke up with a gnarly ring of fresh bubbles caused by the unsupervised vacuum.

Dr. Maria Wei who is the co-author of this reported case said to Live Science “The vacuum was strong enough to split the skin, separating the normal two [top and bottom] layers of skin,” and “This case illustrates the need for supervision while performing cupping with a mechanical device… If properly monitored, it shouldn’t be a problem.”

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