Michael Phelps puts cupping therapy in the spotlight

Michael Phelps puts cupping therapy in the spotlight

Michael Phelps puts cupping therapy in the spotlight

Written by Staff Writer

11 Aug, 2016 | 4:58 pm

Michael Phelps might be taking the 2016 Olympic Games by storm but it was the circles on his back, not around his neck, that have many talking.

When Gwyneth Paltrow and Justin Bieber showed off purple, bruise-like dots on their bodies, people laughed.

But now Michael Phelps is in the spotlight with purple dots of his own, and the fitness world is on fire.

The swimmer’s mysterious purple welts are the result of an ancient Chinese practice known as cupping.

4Cupping therapy has been practiced from as early as the 6th century. and is seeing a comeback today through the increased popularity of traditional medicine.

The practice involves cups placed on specific regions of the body to create suction and encourage blood flow. Practitioners believe it promotes healing for a broad range of ailments in a similer way to the premise of blood letting and leeching – the goal being to balance levels of blood inside the body.

Cupping therapy generally costs between $40 to $80 per session, which typically lasts about a half hour.

Olympians like Phelps seem to be proud to bare their cupping marks.

For the millions of people tuning in and seeing the cupping trend among the world’s top athletes, it could inspire them to try it out for themselves and kick off a new health craze.

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