Cupping At The Olympics


Cupping At The Olympics

Thank you Micheal Phelps. His amazing swimming skills aside, it was gratifying to see cupping in the spotlight on a national level. My patients who get cupping regularly felt proud, and I was tickled about all the media hype it received.

For my patients who are NOT familiar with this therapy (or missed the Olympics) it is a treatment that involves placing glass or plastic cups on the surface of the skin, with suction, to alleviate muscle aches and pains. Although the marks, called “sha”, look like bruises they are not painful. In fact, most people are actually surprised at the relief the cupping provides.

Cupping supports healthy muscle by:
  • increasing blood flow
  • breaking up fascia adhesions
  • pulling out toxins fro the tissues
  • increasing range of motion
  • helping fatigued muscles recover faster

Some people think this is a fad and will go away after the Olympics. However cupping has been practiced in many cultures for years. In China it has been a part of a regular health regimen for about 3,000 years, and I have heard of it being used in other areas of the world such as Mexico, Greece and Eastern Europe.

I sincerely hope more athletes, and especially us everyday people, opt for the pain relieving benefits of cupping to make it more mainstream and a regular part of preventative care.

Cupping can be used on the following areas for pain relief:

  • Neck
  • Shoulders
  • Back (upper, middle, lower) 
  • Glute muscles
  • IT bands
  • Hamstrings

I often include cupping as part of my regular acupuncture treatments. If you are an athlete or have chronic muscle pain, I ask you to consider this wonderful therapy as part of your training to keep your muscles healthy and pliable. Please let me know if you are interested!


Photo courtesy: Bob Wong of Art of Acupuncture


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