Walking into a room with a stranger knowing full well that they’re going to cut you with a blade is a little unnerving. But that’s what I was here to do.
For many months I had continued to see The Detox Clinic Coventry pop up on my Instagram feed. Mainly, the wild looking “cupping” techniques.
Aside from very occasional sessions of physiotherapy to treat minor sports injuries, I have never sought to think outside the box to improve my physical well-being. The way I see it is that I don’t keep myself fit enough with the simple things I can control – so paying for therapy and extra aids is pointless.
Read more: Offer to get a life-changing therapy for a toddler with cerebral palsy
But there was something about this gruesome procedure that fascinated me and piqued my curiosity. The man in the know is Sal Boksh, whose conduct and certificate-laden wall immediately put me at ease when I entered his premises in St Paul’s Road, Coventry.
He has been running this home clinic in Coventry since 2019. After a period of consultation we opted for ‘systemic detox’. He compared it to a car service, but for your body. This would involve small incisions in my skin prior to cupping.
“It focuses on our internal organs such as the lungs, glands, heart, liver, kidneys and digestive system,” he said. “Just like a vehicle needs regular maintenance; for example, a car service involves removing the old oil and placing a new one, we remove excess blood waste, which then allows the brain to regulate and send efficient blood and lymphatic flow and more clean to these areas.
It was time to get to work. With my face pressed through the hole in the treatment table, Sal made several small cuts in my back with a blade before the cut was firmly placed over the area. The process is uncomfortable but manageable.
Although I can only speak with a limited degree of experience of only having one tattoo, it looked like that. Painful but bearable, and the longer it went on, the less of a problem it was.
At the end, I felt something like an adrenaline rush. Maybe it was just the initial relief of the process being over. Still, I felt a little deeper than that. Perversely, I had actually begun to enjoy the experience.
Warning: The gallery below contains photographs that feature blood (and a journalist’s hairy back)…
Sal had shown me what was extracted from the cups. Seeing his own blood was a strange experience again, as I was face down and unaware of the carnage on my back – until I saw the photos.
“The history behind cupping dates back to 1500 BC,” he said. “It was and still is widely used in China, Egypt and the Middle East. It is slowly becoming more popular in the western world with athletes such as Michael Phelps, Anthony Joshua, Connor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagemdov using it.
It looked and sounded like practices from a bygone era. But these names alone suggest that there is a place for it in modern society. Sal also has many Coventry sportsmen on his books. But why? What benefits can it bring?
“It can benefit a person in many ways including: improved blood and lymph flow, increased endorphins, joint and muscle relief, reduced inflammation, moisturizing fascia and more. Cupping therapy can also help relieve acne, psoriasis, headaches, digestive symptoms and more.
I was skeptical about this visit. Is this another example of stacking on social media? It looks interesting and attractive on Instagram, so everyone jump on the bandwagon?
There is no doubt about it, I left The Detox Clinic feeling full of energy and with a spring in my step. I can see why people would come back for more than the process. It took me out of my comfort zone slightly, I wouldn’t be surprised if some people came back for that reason alone – the feel of the experience.
There was also a special focus on my hamstring issue, something I had pointed out to Sal. While I was receiving conventional physiotherapy and training this part of my body to become more resilient and robust, since my visit I have had no more setbacks despite being in my 30s and exercised at least twice a week. Is it purely but up to a coincidence? Or did it help me get to that particular milestone? Sal says he sees his clients benefit in many different ways.
“Positive feedback such as: feeling energized, relieved, lifting heavy, sleeping better, from severe pain to no pain at all as if nothing had happened. Interest in cupping slowly started to increase and I strongly believe it’s because of word of mouth, people seeing their friends/family seeming more positive,” he said.
The red circles that crossed my back and my legs faded in a few days and did not prevent me from playing sports the very evening of my treatment.
What has not faded is my fascination with this practice. If anything, he grew and while I didn’t rush for a second round, I wouldn’t rule him out in the future either.
To follow The Detox Clinic on Instagram, Click here.
Keep up to date with the latest news with our email alerts straight to your inbox. Register here.