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Detoxing through Polish Banki, or, the Ancient Art of Cupping

Detoxing through Polish Banki, or, the Ancient Art of Cupping

Posted by Michele Zagorski on 6th Nov 2016

There is an old Polish method of healing using Banki, or glass suction cups, to draw toxins & clear the lungs by encouraging movement and circulation of blockages.  It's also known as 'cupping' in English, and has its roots in ancient China, where it was used to aid the flow of chi through the body.  We gave it a try last weekend. 

My husband almost never gets sick, so when my Polish mother-in-law learned that Jacek (my husband) was laid low at home, she went into her storage and emerged with a box of what looked like little glass fishbowls called banki.  At first, I was a bit skeptical when she demonstrated how to use them.  It brought back memories of that Saturday Night Live skit with Steve Martin as the medieval barber who favored leeches and blood-letting.  Still, I know there's a lot of wisdom in these Old World healing arts, so I agreed to give it a try.

I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that my hubby was all for it...after all, his mother had used this method of healing on him since he was a child in Poland.  My teenage son Mikolaj was also enthusiastic to try his hand at being a banki torturer healer.

To get started, you need the banki, some alcohol, a large swab, and a candle.

Saturate the swab in the alcohol, hold it over a flame until it catches fire, and then hold the flame under the glass cup, or banki, to create a vacuum.  Then very quickly apply the glass cup to the skin.  If you've done it right, you will see the flesh of your patient forming a mound inside the cup as the vacuum pulls the toxins from the body and generates circulation.  

It sounds simple, but we quickly learned there really is a knack to it, and Mik, my 16 year old son, has the knack.  I let him take over for me.  He clearly enjoyed was like a live science experiment with Jacek as the guinea pig!  

We left the banki on for about 15 minutes, and then I massaged my husband's back with my homemade muscle rub, and ran him a bath with my detox botanical salt blend to support the flow of toxins out of his body. 

Did it work?  I really don't know.  I've seen pictures online where the flesh is left with dark purple circles once the banki are removed.  Since we didn't want to burn my husband, we didn't hold the flame for too long under the cups.  A vacuum was created, and we did see the raised flesh, but he didn't have the purple bruises left.  I can say that he was only sick for one more day and then felt much better. 

The concept of Banki has been used in many ancient cultures and continues to this day, and I am intrigued. I plan on learning more about it and practicing when I have the opportunity!

Stay Healthy!