Cupping Therapy

Cupping: Why The Fuss?

Top Athletes Swear By This Ancient Chinese Medicine, And Maybe You Should Too

The large red splotches that have surfaced on Michael Phelps’ back have launched a frenzy of internet searches across the world, with folks raising questions about what is producing these marks on the swimmer’s skin. This has brought cupping, a form of ancient Chinese medicine, to the forefront of mainstream media. But cupping is not anything new. In fact, it’s been around longer than the Olympics themselves and many top athletes swear by this practice.

What Can Cupping Treat?

Like acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, cupping is a traditional Chinese remedy that produces results similar to a deep tissue massage. It is by no means a new therapy, and dates as far back as 3,000 B.C. Many people experience different benefits from a cupping treatment, and it is most generally used to treat muscle pain and tension.
The best results from a cupping treatment are seen for those experiencing:
  • Neck and shoulder tension
  • Back pain
  • Hip pain
  • Leg pain
  • Joint pain
  • Inflammation and fibromyalgia
But cupping can also boost your immune system when you feel a cold or flu coming on or help treat symptoms of asthma, pneumonia, and other problems related to breathing. It is important to have the treatment done by a dedicated professional, since specific areas must be targeted for the best results.

How Does It Work?

Martin Perras, here at Oaktree Health, has been practicing cupping for seven years and was recently interviewed on CBC to discuss this Chinese therapy. Cupping involves stimulating your skin using the suction from cups and heat, and results in the bruise-like welts that can be seen on Michael Phelps. The cups may remain stationary throughout a treatment, or your cupping professional may slide the cups across your skin, depending on the exact type of treatment you are receiving.
The bruises are temporary and will only last for about a week after treatment. Some people express a tightening feeling when the cups are placed on the skin, but generally cupping is a painless procedure. It is an all-natural treatment that goes hand-in-hand with other traditional Chinese remedies, like herbal medicine and acupuncture.
Many people swear by cupping, seeing huge improvement in physical pain they are experiencing while also using it as a remedy for common colds and flus. Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, along with many other Olympic athletes are active participants in this traditional Chinese medicine… and maybe it’s time you are, too!

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