Why Rio Olympic Athletes Have Red Circles All Over Their Bodies?
If you are watching the Olympics you probably have noticed circular marks dotting the bodies of a number of U.S. athletes, such as swimmer Michael Phelps and gymnast Alex Naddour.
Many people wonder what are those marks? Are they a cause of injury or a disease?
The marks come from a procedure known as cupping.
As NBC reports, cupping is a healing technique, it has been used more than 2,000 years, according to Jill Blakeway, doctor of acupuncture and Chinese medicine and founder of The YinOva Center in New York. She explains that is a massage in reverse.
In this procedure there can be two types of cups that can be used glass and (usually) plastic.
*With glass cups, flames vacuum the oxygen out of the cups, which are then are placed on affected areas.
*The more modern, typically plastic cups pull out air with individual suction pumps.
After the cups are placed on the wanted area, they are left for 10 minutes. The circular marks stay on the body for around 2-3 days. It is believed that in those areas the blood flow is improved.
Blakeway says: We would put them in places where there are trigger points.
Medical practitioners doubt that cupping is helping the athletes, they suggest that is the placebo effect that gives the results.