What It’s Really Like To Be Cupped

If I ever had any doubt, this last week has erased it – we live in a very empathetic community. Over the past few days, I have been asked repeatedly:

How is your back?

Didn’t that hurt?

That looks so painful!

The concerned citizens were reacting to a story I wrote for The Forum last week about cupping.

 

cupping screen shot1

 

If you’ve watched any Olympic swimming in the last few days you know exactly what I’m talking about. Cupping is a 2,000-year-old Chinese healing practice where suction cups are put on the skin to combat everything from muscle pain to asthma. The suction cups leave behind big, round bruises and red marks. America has been all a-buzz about cupping since seeing a polka-dot covered Michael Phelps emerge from the pool in Rio. Phelps has used cupping to reduce stiffness in his right shoulder as you can clearly see from the many photos from any one of his races.

2016 Rio Olympics - Swimming - Preliminary - Men's 200m Butterfly - Heats - Olympic Aquatics Stadium - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 08/08/2016. Michael Phelps (USA) of USA is seen with red cupping marks on his shoulder as he competes. REUTERS/Michael Dalder FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics – Swimming – Preliminary – Men’s 200m Butterfly – Heats – Olympic Aquatics Stadium – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – 08/08/2016. Michael Phelps (USA) of USA is seen with red cupping marks on his shoulder as he competes. REUTERS/Michael Dalder FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.

So what does cupping really feel like? Check out the video and story to see exactly what I mean and whether cupping is everything it’s cracked up to be.