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What Is Cupping Therapy, and Why Does Michael Phelps Swear By It?

What Is Cupping Therapy, and Why Does Michael Phelps Swear By It?

BY PAIGE CARLOTTI Competing in the Olympics is definitely grueling, but it’s not the sports that are responsible for some of the bruises on several of the top athletes. For instance, swimmer Michael Phelps and gymnast Alex Naddour—among other competitors—have been seen with round, purple marks across their bodies. It’s called cupping therapy, and it’s a form of ancient Chinese medicine purported to treat athletic aches and other pains. But can a couple of cups on your skin really make a difference in what’s going on in your body? We take a look at what’s really behind this health trend. How Does Cupping Therapy Work? In cupping therapy, an acupuncturist soaks a cotton ball in alcohol and lights it on fire inside a glass cup. He or she removes the flame, and...