It’s been a few months since the Olympics, but already there are moments that fans will remember forever. From the incredible gymnastic sensation of Simone Biles to the continued dominance of Usain Bolt, the 2016 Rio Olympics gave even the most casual sports enthusiast memories that will last for decades.
But for many, it wasn’t just the sports themselves that caught so much attention. It was the actions away from the games of a very popular American swimmer. No, we’re not talking about Ryan Lochte. We’re talking about Michael Phelps, and the red circles that covered much of his upper body.
What Were Those Red Circles?
Those red circles were part of a recovery program that Phelps used to restore his body and reduce pain after intense exercise. The process is known as “Cupping,” and although it is new to the United States, it is actually based on an ancient Chinese therapy that says that is believed to restore the “qi” or “life force” into an individual struggling with pain and discomfort.
In order to perform the “cupping” technique, specialists – like those at Spine Center Atlanta – heat glass cups and apply them to the skin on specific areas of the body. Once it is placed on the body, the heated cup creates a suction effect, which them pulls up the skin into the glass cup. After a few minutes, the glasses are removed. There is more than one form of cupping as well:
- Dry Cupping – This is when only glass cups are used, and it is the most common among athletes.
- Wet Cupping – Where small cuts are made to draw a small amount of blood into the cups.
- Needle Cupping – This is a hybrid of acupuncture and cupping.
Studies have shown that cupping may help reduce pain after injury. It is also especially popular among athletes that over-exert their bodies and put themselves through incredible physical stress.
Spine Center Atlanta is proud to be one of the only cupping providers in Atlanta, offering affordable and effective cupping therapy to those that need it. If you’re interested in learning more about cupping, or you’re interested in scheduling an appointment, please call us today at (404) 649-0783.