#TBT-GrowingUpKorean: Getting Rid of the Bad Blood

A lil throwback story for yall…


Question: Are all Asian mothers uncertified doctors? I ask because I got this treatment alot. When I was young, whenever I didn’t feel well, I got the “go lay down” treatment. But…. if I started feeling worse, throwing up, fever, etc, etc., I would received the worst home remedy ever.I remember the first time I got this “remedy”.

I was 8, and I wasn’t feeling well. Like fluish type not feeling well. The “lay down” treatment was making it worse. So…. My mother, the woman that she is, sat me down in the bathroom and started to massage my arm. She then wrapped my thumb with thread. She started near the bottom and wrapped it tight up halfway up my thumb. At this point, I was confused and intrigued because I hadn’t a clue what was going on. She got up, went to her room, got the rest of her sewing kit and came back. By now, my thumb is black-blue and throbbing and I told my mother, the person taking care of me, that it was starting to hurt.

Here are my mother’s words “SHUT UP!”

It was at this very moment I had realized I was making my mother late for work and she was mad, so I did what any other child would do and I shut up. My mother then proceeded to take a sewing needle out of her sewing kit, took her lighter, and heated up the point of the needle. Let me say that again, she took her SEWING NEEDLE out of her sewing kit, TOOK HER LIGHTER, and HEATED UP THE POINT OF THE NEEDLE. (you know, the best way to sterilize)
I immediately started to cry. I asked “What is that for?!?!” She answered with “SHUT UP!”. I did. She took the needle, wiped the tip off with an alcohol-drenched cotton ball, grabbed my hand, and tried to stick that hot needle in my thumb. I jerked and she missed the area she was aiming for and scratched my thumb with the needle. Now I have a hole in my thumb and bleeding and crying. She look at me with the look, you know “the look”, and she tried it again. I jerked and cried some more, screamed “What are you doing”. She replied “SHUT UP” and put a gorilla grip on my hand and proceed to stick this needle right below my fingernail! Simultaneously, I jerked and it went in further. She pulled it out and blood was just coming out of my thumb. She then took the same alcohol-drenched cotton ball to wipe the blood away, because alcohol doesn’t hurt on open wounds.

So at this point, I’m crying because my mother just played pin the needle in my thumb, I’m bleeding, and I’m sick. My mother told me to get ready for school. Yep, she made she go to school. She’s wasn’t going to miss work. I had no idea what just happened or why.

Result: It didn’t work. I had the flu and I stayed in the nurse’s office until she came and picked me back up and took me to the hospital… She was even more mad than before.

Side note: Now that I’m older and have access to Google, I see that other children with Asian parents have suffered the same as I did. This is a form of acupuncture and apparently, this procedure is to relieve indigestion and get rid of the “bad blood” causing the illness. Also, the picture is the scar on my thumb.

What crazy home remedies did yall get? Did yall get the needle in the finger to get rid of bad blood treatment?


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