If you’ve been watching the Rio Olympics than you must have noticed the large purple marks on many of the athletes including Michael Phelps; and, you likely wondered: what the heck is this?! It’s a painless side-effect of Cupping, a popular ancient healing modality, and it’s not just for Olympians. A-listers such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian have also been spotted with the marks of cupping.
So what is it used for? One of the most common uses of cupping is pain but it is also useful to treat scar tissue, muscle knots and swelling.
Cupping therapy is a technique by which local suction is created on the skin. It mobilizes blood and stimulates physiological balance in the tissues in order to promote the natural healing mechanisms of the body. Suction is created using heat (fire) or mechanical devices such as hand or electrical pumps.
The suction created by the cups is often described as a ‘reverse massage’ because tissues are pulled upward and stretched. Muscles, and connective tissues all benefit from the increased circulation of blood and lymph so recovery and healing time is decreased. Plus it also feels great!
The technique is also often used to detoxify the body, as well as boost the immune system.
The cup stays in place for five to fifteen minutes and treats pain, deep scar tissues in the muscles and connective tissue, muscle knots, and swelling, whether it’s the shoulders, upper or lower back, or arms and legs being treated.
Please call if you have any questions about cupping, and to book your appointment.
Rafael Benedek R.Ac.