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Michael Phelps Cupping Therapy: Technique Leaves Behind Weird Red Circular Body Markings

Michael Phelps Cupping Therapy: Technique Leaves Behind Weird Red Circular Body Markings
Michael Phelps in the 400 IM Karen Blaha CC BY-SA 2.0

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Michael Phelps Cupping Therapy: Technique Leaves Behind Weird Red Circular Body Markings

Several members of Team USA, including swimming sensation Michael Phelps, have been noticed using the technique of cupping.

The technique involves small jars placed at strategic positions on the body to enhance blood flow. However, the suction leaves behind large red circles. After undergoing the process, Phelps had almost half a dozen red circles on his upper body.

Also read: Good News Story: Girl Swam Out Of Syria, Now She’s Swimming For 2016 Rio Olympics

As reported by FOX Sports, the practice dates back to thousands of years. Back then, the cups, traditionally made of glass, contained a flammable material that was ignited. After it extinguished, the cups were placed at specific locations on the body producing vacuum as the cups cooled.

Swimming World has described the procedure in more detail.

“Cupping employs suction to tug on the tightest muscles, stretching the fascia,” the website says. “The vacuum lifts the skin off the muscle or bone, allowing the blood vessels to expand and more blood to flow to the targeted area. Increased blood flow is believed to help the body recover faster.”

Things have progressed since then – now a pump, which replicates the process, does the job. However, it leaves behind temporary red marks on the body.

Athletes have adopted the procedure to help them in recovery. This is important for purposes of post practice and during long stretches when a swimmer might compete in a dozen races.

Also read: Team USA Olympics 2016: Women Set To Outshine Men Again

Phelps’ Under Armor advertisement, which announced his return to competitive swimming, featured the practice.

One repercussion of the procedure is the temporary bruises it leaves behind. The cupping theory is known to cause marks that can last up to two weeks, according to an article in the Slate.

The procedure takes around five to 10 minutes. The athletes feel a pinching sensation which is followed by pain relief after the removal of the cups. The process is known to open blood vessels, thereby increasing blood flow; and so is deemed beneficial before a race.

Thanks @arschmitty for my cupping today!!! #mpswim #mp ? @chasekalisz

A photo posted by Michael Phelps (@m_phelps00) on

Also read: Malnourished Boy Burned, Kept In Basement: Mom, BF Accused Of Concealing Death

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About Shaurya Arya

Shaurya covers wide range of genres. He is in the know about the day-to-day happenings in the US. He covers politics, environment, lifestyle and sports. Follow him to know the latest development in the US Presidential Election, rescue operations during tornadoes and other calamities or simply whether those viral videos and memes are true or hoax. With a Masters in Journalism, he has a bright future ahead in the field of writing and reporting.

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