Most people have heard of cupping. Or, at the very least, have seen pictures of Michael Phelps during the 2016 Olympics. You know, the ones where he looked as if he was attacked by an octopus. Those marks that Mr. Phelps was proudly displaying were cupping marks.
Cupping is a type of myofascial therapy that is usually used alongside acupuncture or therapeutic massage. This involves placing cups along the surface of the skin, creating an air-tight suction. These cups are typically made of glass, silicone, or plastic depending on the type of cupping being performed and desired strength of the therapy.
The suction created by the cup increases the blood circulation of the area. This helps promote faster tissue and cellular repair, along with the reduction of muscular tension. This results in blood staying close to the surface, typically for a day or two, leaving the pain-free ‘cupping mark’. Cupping can be used to treat a variety of conditions, such as easing muscular aches and pains from life or from trauma.