Regardless of its long history, cupping therapy only became a trendy therapy in the west after the 2016 Rio Olympics when the US swimmer Michael Phelps won the gold medal with cupping marks on his body. Similarly, Alexander Naddour the American gymnast also told USA Today: “That’s been the secret that I have had through this year that keeps me healthy. It’s been better than any money I’ve spent on anything else.” “It has saved me from a lot of pain.”
Why do some of the world’s top athletes receiving this ancient but rather brutal type of therapy?
Cupping therapy is an ancient Chinese form of alternative medicine in which a skin suction is created with a glass cup. Cupping is much like a inversed type of deep-tissue massage with an upward muscle pressure.
People get it for many purposes; including help with pain, inflammation, blood flow, relaxation and well-being, and as a type of deep-tissue massage.
There are different types of cupping such as dry cupping, wet cupping. The difference is whether there is prickling of blood when cupping. The traditional Chinese type of cupping is fire cupping which uses fire to burn out oxygen in the glass cup to create a suction effect.