By Bilal Kuchay
These incredible video and pictures show an Indonesian street healer using buffalo horns as part of alternative cupping therapy routine.
While the therapy, a suction technique using glass cups that helps stimulate blood flow in body is common throughout Asia and has slowly marked its presence in the West, healers in Jakarta use special horns for the treatment.
The popular belief is that the warm horns remove toxins from the body and improve blood circulation.
In the video, Awin Saksena, 45, a horn cupping therapist for last ten years, is seen placing the black horns on the back of his client Abud.
He uses a light and heats up the horn slightly before placing it meticulously. Once removed, the warm ridges of the horns leave dark red circle marks on Abud’s body.
Awin says: “Horns have been used in cupping for thousands of years as there is no risk involved and the warmth improves blood circulation in the body.
“There are therapists in other places who use glass or bamboo cups for suction but here in Jakarta we use buffalo horns.”
The horns are placed for couple of minutes and is believed to immediately start showing the results.
Abud, who experienced it for the first time said: “It is really relaxing. I had known about it but tried it for the very first time.
“I have severe pain in my joints and I am sure the therapy will reduce the pain. I have already started feeling much better.”
The therapists charge only £2 for the therapy that lasts for few minutes.
“It is cheaper than other treatment and takes just couple of minutes saving both time and money of the clients,” says Awani, who sees this as the reason for the horn therapy’s popularity.
The origins of cupping therapy date back to 1550 BC as literature states the ancient Egyptians were fans of the practice.
The medical practice began using hollowed out animal horns to drain out infections, before it evolved into bamboo cups and was later replaced by glass.
With increasing popularity it steadily reached Western countries with many celebrities including Justin Bieber and Hollywood actresses Jennifer Aniston and Gwyneth Paltrow have also tried it.
Olympian Michael Phelps also used the technique during the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.