Cupping is a form of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) that promotes healing through pressure. This treatment, used by top Olympic athletes like Michael Phelps, can help relieve muscle tension and improve blood flow, among numerous other benefits.
During a cupping treatment, glass cups are briefly heated by flame and then placed on the patient’s skin to create a suction. The suction pulls blood to that particular region and promotes healing while also stretching muscles. Patients can often sense the pull on their skin, but the process is generally painless.
Cupping therapy can help to:
Cupping provides a great option for athletes seeking natural solutions for recovery and pain relief. It also serves as an alternative to the often harmful medication taken to reduce pain and muscle aches. This treatment comes with virtually no side effects, aside from causing the skin to temporarily turn red, blue or purple, which can last from a few days to several weeks. Also, cupping should not be used if patients have skin ulcers or edema.