“I’ve been doing it for a while,” Phelps said, after racing through the semi-final of the 200-metre butterfly event. Cupping is a form of alternative therapy and acupuncture, which is currently under the spotlight at the Olympics.
It involves, as the name suggests, a series of glass or plastic cups being placed on the recipient’s skin. The cups are heated and come into effect upon cooling; the air trapped between the cup and skin contracts, creating a suction-like effect that pulls the skin upwards, drawing blood to the surface to increase blood flow and give the resulting marks their deep crimson-purple colour. At times, vacuum pumps can be used along with the cups to aid the process of suction. The marks can last from anywhere between a few days to more than a week, but who came up with the idea in the first place?
Origins of cupping
Hailing from the east, the origins of cupping have been pinned to ancient China, where the practice was deemed to be a medical treatment serving as a form of healing and recovery. 3,000 years ago, cupping had an even greater significance to some Chinese practitioners, who would say that it, “helps open up channels of qi, or the body’s life force”.
It has roots in the Middle East too, with the practice of Hijama(the Arabic word for wet cupping) in the Muslim world well-documented. Hijama is slightly different to traditional cupping in that it involves a small skin incision and was endorsed by Greek physician Hippocrates.
Why are Olympic athletes using it?
Cupping therapy aids recovery, acting as a deep tissue massage, a form of rehabilitation, and a way of reducing pain. In a competition where quick recovery is pivotal to enhancing performance, athletes like Phelps are trying such methods. more questions about cupping, please check Cupping FAQs
Oriental Acupuncture Clinic has cupping reflexology therapy, acupuncture / moxibustion and massage therapy to treat all types of issues, including chronic pain, infertility, digestion problems,chronic fatigue, allergies......Call 416-800-3978 or text 416-655-1311 for your appointment. or book it online at http://www.Oclinic.ca