Is Cupping Right for You?
If you remember watching the 2016 Olympics, you might have noticed that some athletes, including Olympic gold medalist swimmer Michael Phelps, have a number of odd purple bruises on their bodies.
The round bruises are actually the result of a healing technique known as cupping. The gymnastics team captain, Chris Brooks, and American gymnast Alex Naddourr have also been seen with cupping marks.
What is cupping?
Cupping is an ancient healing therapy that some people use to ease pain. A provider places cups on your back, stomach, arms, legs or other parts of your body. Inside the cup, a vacuum or suction force pulls skin upward. Cupping is a form of traditional Chinese and Middle Eastern medicine. People have practiced cupping therapy for thousands of years.
How does cupping work?
Experts are still exploring how cupping eases pain and disease symptoms. There isn’t a lot of research on the therapy. Suction from cupping draws fluid into the treated area. This suction force expands and breaks open tiny blood vessels (capillaries) under the skin. Your body treats the cupping area like an injury. It sends more blood to the area to stimulate the natural healing process. Some people theorize that cupping clears the pores and releases toxins."