You may have noticed athletes sporting red, circular marks in the Rio 2016 Olympics; these are a result of cupping therapy. But what is this and why are athletes using it?
We speak to Pragna Soni, a cupping therapist, to find out more…
“Many athletes use cupping to help ease the muscle pain. So, what is cupping therapy? Let’s take a look…
Cupping has been widely used around the world. In China the earliest records date back to 3000 years ago and in Egypt to 1550BC. It was called ‘Horn therapy’ or ‘Bamboo therapy’ then due to the use of cow horns or sections of bamboo.
Now in 20th Century, cupping therapy is mainly performed with glass or plastic cups. Glass cups are warmed and applied to the body by creating a vacuum and the plastic cups are applied only by creating a vacuum. There are few methods of cupping therapy, like flash or moving cupping, weak, medium or strong cupping, all depending on client’s physical assessment.
People who play a lot of sports or people who are involved in heavy physical work can benefit massively from cupping therapy. They have more muscle wear and tear, stiffness, aches and pain than compared to others. Cupping therapy has a remarkable effect on those conditions as it activates the secretion of synovial fluids releasing joint stiffness.
We get injuries on the outer layer of the body the same way we can get injuries inside the body. While we can’t see these, they could affect the circulation of blood, lymph, energy (Qi) and nutrients.
The vacuum formed during cupping draws up the non-circulating stagnant blood, toxins and sticky fluids from deeper parts of the body, bringing them up to the surface. This helps in restoring free, healthy flow to the whole body including the affected area, creating space for oxygen, living cells, blood and nutrients for quicker recovery, reduction in pain and stiffness and promoting better performance in sports!”