Are you watching the Summer Olympics? Aside from watching in awe of the beast-mode athletes have you noticed anything weird? How about those purple circles on various body parts of some of the athletes? Particularly on the Team USA and especially (or most visible) on the swim team.
No those aren’t bites or the after marks of being in a fight in the Olympic Village. Nope. Not at all. So what on earth could they possibly be? They’re bruises caused by cupping therapy. What the hell is cupping? It’s a form of holistic medicine that dates back to the ancient times in the Eastern world. Oh yes, holistic Eastern treatment being brought to the forefront of mainstream. You know how incredibly happy this makes me! I prefer holistic or natural healing when at all possible.
So cupping… cupping therapy is when cups are placed on the skin to create suction. The suction of the cups increases blood flow so muscle repair can happen faster after physical excertion. Most athletes get dry cupping therapy which involves suctioning of the skin for 5-10 minutes at a time. Wet cupping is when the suctioned cups are removed after a few minutes then piercing the skin and reapplying the suction cups to draw out a small amount of blood. It is believed that this type of cupping removes toxins from the body.
Cupping therapy isn’t just used on athletes or for removing toxins. It is practiced all over the world to help various aliments such as anxiety, depression, digestion, and fertility among many others. If one thing happened at the Olympics that made me just over the moon happy its the fact it put a spotlight on such a great alternative medicine treatment! And for the record, it makes me happy Team USA is also leading in gold medals and total metals!
Would you ever try cupping therapy?
photo credit: Michael Phelps’ Instagram; AFP/Getty Images