Ever since Michael Phelps showed up at the 2016 Summer Olympics with dark circular “bruises” on his back and shoulders, cupping has blown out of the water. This has led many people around the world to give this ancient Chinese healing technique a try. Cupping has only recently become very mainstream; however, this technique has been around for over 5000 years.
As a massage therapist, I am finding that a lot of my clients have heard of it because of the Olympics, and some have tried it and loved it while others have been apprehensive to try it because they have heard that it doesn’t really work or don’t want to be left with “bruising”
Let’s address “bruising” and get that out of the way. Cupping does not actually leave bruising. The science behind it, is that the suction caused by the cups causes the capillaries to break when the cups are left on the skin for a certain length of time. It might look very familiar because it reminds you of something your girlfriend or boyfriend gave you in jr. high and you had to wear a turtle neck for a week to hide it. That’s right, it’s basically the same thing as a hickey. Except this time around, you won’t have to hide it from mom and dad.
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