If you’ve been tuning into the Olympics you might have noticed the purple spots decorating some of the athlete’s backs, chests and arms. They’ve been cupped! Cupping is a Chinese body work technique that uses a vacuum to suck the skin up, separating it from the tissue below. This action breaks up fascial adhesions and circulates blood and lymph fluid. The result is the loosening up of muscle tightness and accelerated recovery of a damaged or stressed area.
on Day 3 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 8, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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Cupping can benefit non-athletes, too, as it can treat a wide range of ailments. It can help relieve the chest tightness that occurs with chronic asthma, bronchitis or pneumonia. It can help with acute and chronic pain including arthritic pain, fertility and gynecological disorders, skin disorders, anxiety, allergies, fevers, colds and flu, and even hot flashes. It has also been popularized as a treatment for cellulite due to it’s ability to break up the adhesions that cause cellulite’s dimpled appearance. Facial cupping has the ability to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, but don’t worry, there are special facial cups that don’t cause dark bruising.
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The dark marks that some types of cupping can leave are dramatic but the sensation of having cupping done is nowhere near as dramatic. The marks can last a few days to a week and are painless. Cupping can feel tight initially, somewhat like a pinching sensation, but as the underlying tissue relaxes, the tightness loosens up. Some people equate the relaxation they experience during a cupping session to that of a massage.

Cupping is an ancient healing aid that has been around for a very long time, perhaps thousands of years. Do you have questions or think cupping might be something you’d like to try? Book a free 15 minute consultation today!

Written by Hedy Moreno