If you watched the Rio Olympics this past summer you may have heard or noticed that athletes have been using a practice called cupping before their competitions. This was mainly used by swimmers, many of whom you may have seen with dark discolored circles on their body, especially their back. Michael Phelps seemed to get the most attention for this, and he says that it is very helpful. However, apart from him and other swimmers, there were still many athletes that used cupping as well. Cupping is an ancient healing process from China in which cups are placed on a persons back. Then the cups suction the skin up and bring more fluid to the area and increase blood flow. It seems like a weird thing to do, and I can’t imagine that it helps that much, but these athletes stand by it, and with all the medals they have accumulated, Especially Michael Phelps, I guess there must me something to it.
According to Josh Peter, the athletes say that cupping helps to loosen them up and perform better. Cupping helps to increase their motion and movement of their muscles. This allows them to do better when they are competing. Also cupping is used after competitions to heal their body and help them recover more quickly. All of this sounds great, however there is still no real evidence that cupping actually helps athletes to perform better. It is still just based on what the athletes themselves say about the treatment. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because if the athletes think that it helps them then they should definitely continue to do it regardless of true evidence. My only question is if it is a safe thing to do. According to Web MD cupping is for the most part safe as long as it is done correctly. There are only mild downfalls to it such as irritation or skin infections.
Cupping is used by many people, including athletes to help them perform better and normal people to treat certain injuries. There is not much evidence to prove that it actually works, especially with athletic performance, but people that use it seem to say that it helps them so it seems like it is a good treatment to use. Also it is very safe to do, so I think that more research should be done on this and more people should begin using this for sports or to treat pain.