As Tobias Harris stepped to the free-throw line, I immediately noticed a red symmetrical circle on this right arm. It’s the same mark that we saw on Michael Phelps during the 2016 Olympic games. The mark is the result of cupping therapy, an ancient technique that is used to aid in myofascial decompression. Cupping is often used by massage therapists, physical therapists, and chiropractors to treat conditions such as lower back pain, fibromyalgia, migraines, and soft tissue injuries and restrictions.
How does it work?
Cups are placed on or near the injured area(s) for a period of time. The client will feel tightness in the area as the cup suctions the skin. The suction force increases blood flow and breaks tiny blood vessels under the skin, which triggers the body to send more blood to the area stimulating the natural healing process.
Who shouldn’t get cupping therapy?
Research about the effects of cupping is still developing but pregnant women and those with the following conditions should avoid cupping:
· Deep vein thrombosis and other blood clotting disorders
Note: Often cupping therapy will result in painless red circular marks. These marks are visible for a week or more.