Li Lin, a 63-year-old man from Chengdu, China, had "frozen shoulder," and underwent traditional Chinese cupping therapy in May and June.
The results were disastrous, reports the Daily Mail.
Frozen shoulder -- the medical term is adhesive capsulitis -- refers to varying degrees of stiffness and pain in the shoulder joint, usually caused by an extended period of inactivity in the joint.
Cupping therapy is an ancient Chinese remedy that uses heated glass cups to create suction on the skin.
“The suction of the cup pulls the skin and tissues up and away from the body," explains alternative health site Natural News. "Unlike accupressure or massage therapy, which compresses muscles and tissues, cupping therapy decompresses by gently pulling tissues outward.”
The site cautions that leaving the cups on too long can lead to hickeys. The hickeys form when blood is drawn up through the upper layers of skin by the vacuum created in the cup. Those hickeys are considered a normal part of the cupping therapy.
Li got much more than hickeys.
The massage parlor where he was being treated apparently made the mistake of applying the cups to the same spots on his back every time, which led to blistering, the Daily Mail notes.
Having his wife lance the blisters only made things worse, and he ended up with seven infected holes in his back.
The life-threatening sores landed him in the hospital, which managed to get the infection under control before it got any worse. He is now reportedly on the road to recovery.