After herbs and acupuncture, the cupping therapy will possibly become the new Chinese medicinal fad as more and more elite athletes are found using it to heal their muscles from cruel training.
Three days into the Rio Olympics, a number of athletes, including U.S. swimming megastar Michael Phelps and Gymnast Alex Naddour, have been spotted with big purple dots on their skin. Some jokingly wonder if they were bitten by octopus, while the circles are actually a result of cupping therapy that has been used in China since ancient times.
In Chinese medicinal philosophy, cupping therapy is the method of using heated bamboo cups to create suctions on skin, which could mobilize the blood flows and heal the muscle pains — well, leaving scattered bottle hickies which will disappear in a week or two. Today, glass or plastic cups are often used instead of bamboo.
The ancient treatment was also used in early Egypt and Greece, and is still commonly found in traditional clinics all over China. Some Chinese people, especially the older generation, can even DIY the therapy at home with simplified tools such as a glass bottle, a piece of paper and a lighter.
Phelps might have become a fan of the treatment. People have noticed several photos of him receiving the cupping posted on his Instagram account nearly a year ago.
U.S. gymnast Alex Naddour told USA Today that the therapy was “better than any money I’ve spent on anything else.”
“That’s been the secret that I have had through this year that keeps me healthy,” Naddour told the paper, adding that it had saved him from a lot of pain.
Besides athletes, some other celebrities have also tried it, including Victoria Beckham and Justin Bieber, according to the BBC.
So, the therapy sounds simple, cheap and safe. Do you want to have a try now?