Traditional Health Practices

Eastern medicine (Thuốc Đong Y ) considers environmental influences such as wind and spirits that can offset the internal balance of a person leading to illness. For example, it is common for a Vietnamese person to refer to a cold or a flu as being exposed to “poisonous wind” (gío độc) or “catching the wind” (trung gío) instead of “catching a cold” .

Two treatment methods of wind illnesses include:

  • Coining or Cạo Gío is the rubbing of aromatic oils onto the chest and back in parallel lines in order to release the poisonous wind.
  • Cupping or Giác hơi is the burning of a candle in a glass cup and the placing of the cup onto the skin. Traditional treatment methods for wind illnesses may be mistaken for abuse because of the dark bruise-like marks resulting from the treatment methods.


CautionBecause of the dark bruise-like marks, resulting from the treatment, cupping may be mistaken for abuse.

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