Michael Phelps won his first gold of the Rio Olympics on Sunday with telltale cupping marks on his back and shoulders, putting him in the company of alternative health-loving celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow and Lena Dunham. Read more here, plus grab our special offer of cupping included in your acupuncture treatment!
Cupping is an ancient Chinese therapy in which a cup is applied to the skin and the pressure in the cup is reduced (either by heat or suction) in order to draw and hold skin and superficial muscles inside the cup.
Cupping is applied to certain acupuncture points as well as to parts of the body that have been affected by pain, where the pain is deeper than the tissues to be pulled. Cupping has greater emphasis on the back due to the ease with which it can be performed on the back.
Cupping is based on the meridian theory of the body. On one hand, cupping removes any stagnation in the body and opens the meridians so that qi can flow freely. On the other, it also helps to rejuvenate certain meridians and organs that are not functioning at their best. From a scientific standpoint, cupping is known to help activate the lymphatic system, promote blood circulation, and is good for deep tissue repair.