Almost everyone seems to be interested in knowing more about ‘Cupping’ and how it affects one’s health. Well, if Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps thinks its good for his health, then it must gotta be good, right? Let’s take a closer look at this emerging wellness trend!
Michael Phelps (USA) seen with red cupping marks on his shoulder. REUTERS/DOMINIC EBENBICHLER
At the Rio Olympics, everybody could see the large round bruises on Michael Phelps’s body, which were caused as a result of the ancient Asian healing ritual known as cupping.
Cupping has probably been around as long as traditional Chinese medicine has been around — a couple thousand years.
Although it’s a wellness trend that’s currently a rage in the US, the world might soon follow.
Cupping Process Explained
“It involves using glass or plastic cups, and a vacuum pump. The cups are placed over the muscles, with the vacuum pump sucking the skin towards the top of the cup, forming negative pressure that draws blood to the surface and breaks capillaries, causing the purple circular bruises.
This method causes blood vessels to dilate and increases blood flow. It stimulates the flow of energy and relaxes muscles and tendons, which in turn minimises the risk of injury.
The pump is not always needed, the cups can be heated and then placed on the skin, the variation of this method preferred by Michael Phelps, the negative pressure is formed here as the cup cools and the air inside contract.”
Should Indian athletes also try this method?
Cupping is usually part of a more comprehensive medical approach, and used in combination with other therapies.
Athletes who’re seeking alternative therapy should seek a qualified health expert, someone who’s trained in traditional medicine and licensed in Chinese medicine (and preferably who has graduated from an accredited school).