The Buzz Behind ‘Cupping’ – Hint: It’s Not Just for Athletes


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Source: Getty Images

You’ve seen it all over the Rio Summer Olympics from swimmers such as Michael Phelps to gymnasts such as Alexander Naddour. Olympic athletes have been seen sporting circular red spots on their body, and it’s all due to an ancient Chinese therapy technique called “Cupping.”

Cupping is used to treat pain, muscle tension and in some cases respiratory issues.

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

A photo posted by Michael Phelps (@m_phelps00) on


Essentially, by using small suction cup-like devices on the body, the vacuum is used to pull the blood to a certain area of the body, hoping to improve circulation, decrease pain or improve inflammatory issues.
Source: Jim Spellman/WireImage

Before it became commonplace in the Olympic arena, celebrities such as Victoria Beckham, Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow and many others have also been pictured sporting the same red circles.

Celebs claim the therapy has a similar affect to acupuncture, relieving stress and tension.

Girls creator Lena Dunham is also a fan, even calling it “Da Cure,” in one of her posts to social media.
Source: Instagram via @lenadunham

So how much will cupping therapy cost you? Typically, a treatment can run anywhere between $30-$80 per session.


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