What’s old is new again: Cupping (or how can I look like I got attacked by an Octopus)!

24171697 - therapist removing cups following treatment

If you have been watching the Olympics, the water cooler conversations and the sports casters cannot stop talking about Michael Phelps and the other Athlete’s with all those purple rings on various areas of their body. What’s that all about and why are they doing it??

Well, those wonderful little circles are made from a healing technique called “cupping”.  Cupping draws blood to the area, reduces soreness and speeds up healing of tired, overworked muscles.  It also boosts the immune system and accelerates healing time. The technique is a part of acupuncture therapy and has been around for hundreds to thousands of years. The goal is to move stagnant “energy” and decongest the area. With modern investigation, it has been shown to also release tight zones of adhesions and scar tissue, which relieves pain, congestion and helps to maintain and improve mobility.

Specialized cups are placed on the skin to create suction between the skin, fat, muscle and fascia, the tissue that gets damaged and tight on all of us. The skin /tissue are pulled up and away from the underlying fascia/muscles.  While the suction itself lasts for only a few minutes, it is enough time to allow the small capillaries which are just beneath the skins surface to rupture and stretch the tight and stuck fascia and create those distinctive bruises that have been recently spotted on several of our U.S. Olympians.

I’ve been getting treatment and performing cupping since the mid 1970’s. It has taken an Olympic star like Phelps to shed “new” light on all of the therapies and techniques that help maintain and improve anyone’s movement, energy and pain control.

Once I was in Florida and getting deep massage and cupping from a therapist. The next day I was walking around with my shirt off and I started to notice people were taking “double takes” at me as they walked by. Finally a guy came up to me and asked what had happened to me. I forgot about the cupping and was enjoying the ability to walk and move without my back and shoulders locking up and giving me discomfort. I looked in a window and saw the two rows of 24 “purple hickeys” over my neck, back and shoulders.

Instead of trying to explain cupping I just told him I had been snorkeling off the pier in Clearwater and had gotten attacked by a large Octopus, It was quite a fight but I finally got free.  Now all you have to say is you’re just trying to be like Michael!

Cupping is an ancient form of Chinese medicine that I’ve has been doing for over 36 years. While it is not covered by insurance, at AdvaCare clinic it is only $35.00 a treatment. The benefits to your body are well-worth it.  But don’t take my word for it, checkout what our US Olympians have to say!

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