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August 9, 2016

Ladies – You too can have the same release of shoulder and neck pain like Michael Phelps, sans the intense bruising!

Michael Ph back(Reuters) – It wasn’t just Michael Phelps’ big win on Sunday that had people talking about the U.S. swimming star. It was also the dark purple circles on his shoulders.  He is one of a number of Olympic athletes practicing “cupping,” an ancient Chinese healing practice.

During the therapy cups are placed on the section of the body in need of repair to create suction. The method is said to draw out any toxins, mobilize blood flow, soothe sore muscles and even help cure insomnia.  “I have done it for awhile but I haven’t had bad ones (marks) like this awhile though,” Phelps, who in 2015 posted an Instagram photo of himself receiving the therapy, told reporters on Monday. “That’s where I hurt the most,” he said of the marks on his shoulder. “I have done it before pretty much every meet I go to. I just asked for a little cupping yesterday because I was sore.”

U.S. gymnast Alex Naddour, 25, and Belarusian swimmer Pavel Sankovich are also fans of the procedure. Naddour posted a selfie with a big cupping mark on his shoulder last week, while Sankovich, 26, posted a photo on Instagram in June saying, “This kinda Saturday morning. Cupping is a great recovery tool.”

Actresses Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston and pop star Justin Bieber have also been photographed with the distinctive large circles on their backs and chest.

However, while the therapy dates back to ancient Egyptian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern cultures, it has been less popular among more skeptical Western medical societies.  However, Jessica MacLean, acting director of the International Cupping Therapy Association, said she has seen a 20 percent increase in purchases of cupping therapy equipment and a 50 percent increase of healthcare practitioners seeking out their cupping certificates over the last three days.  MacLean, who has been performing the procedure on people for 24 years says, “When people get the treatment and they recover really fast, they don’t care about the scientific evidence – they just care that it works.”

You do not have to be famous to receive this ancient therapy.  Health Psychology Sacramento offers cupping to support stress reduction, increase relaxation, support better immune function, and pain reduction.  In the context of an integrative treatment approach cupping can be a valuable tool.

You can schedule your appointment today with our trained and certified cupping massage therapist.


 (Reporting by Melissa Fares in New York; Editing by Dr. Stehle)

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