What is cupping therapy in relation to the Olympics?
So how exactly does the ancient Chinese therapeutic practice of cupping therapy end up in the same sentence as the Olympics? And why does Olympic swimmer Alex Naddour regard cupping as the secret to his health, saying “It’s been better than any money I’ve spent on anything else”?
Although cupping therapy has been around for thousands of years, it was only during the 2016 Rio Olympics that this ancient healing modality found its place into the therapy rooms in the Western world. To be more specific, it was when Olympics gold medalist swimmer, Micheal Phelps, undressed to start his race, revealing large purple circles on his back and shoulders, which piqued the curiosity of the onlookers. After much speculation, the intriguing marks turned out to be the after effects of cupping therapy, and what the Olympic athletes had to say about the benefits of cupping, brought this healing technique into the Western therapeutic world with immediate effect. Just in case you thinking the marks appear to be painful bruises, we can assure you this is not the case, in fact, one of the major benefits of cupping is that it actually relieves muscular pain. This is perhaps one of the core reasons why Olympic athletes are so drawn to cupping as it has proved to be the ideal balm for overworked and tired muscles. These Olympic contestants are also claiming that cupping improves their performance. One of the reasons could be that inflammation and the resulting pain seriously hampers an athlete’s performance and hence it follows that a treatment that works to correct this, obviously boosts performance.
What is the method of cupping?
The two main practices of cupping are known as dry and wet cupping. We at Bellabaci use the dry method, whereby cups are placed on specific areas of the body, creating a suction effect and pulling the skin and blood vessels towards the cup which is removed after 5 to 15 minutes. Our unique cupping massage system takes massage to another level with a combination of hand and cupping technique, it is the ultimate luxurious treat for stressed body and mind. Our specialized Bellabaci cups are made of soft, high-grade silicon which is easily squeezed to achieve the necessary suction. The beauty of our cups is that they can be used on oneself with ease in the comfort of your home. Our methods are safe and non-intrusive with far-reaching benefits, including anti-aging due to improved circulation, a reduction in cellulite as well as lowering of stress levels.
So how exactly does cupping work?
Basically, cupping helps with the flow of chi, our life force or essential energy, assisting in moving this energy throughout our bodies, balancing our systems so that we can function at optimal levels. Whether there is too much or too little ‘chi’ in a particular area, can be seen from whether a purple circle is left behind after the cupping. The presence of a bruise shows were too much ‘chi’ was in the area and the cupping draws this energy to the surface, resulting in the bruise. Where there is no bruising after the cupping, this indicates a deficiency in ‘chi’ in the area which is then balanced by the cupping, returning the energy and circulation to the area. Due to the suction, the skin is pulled fractionally away from the muscles creating space for blood to circulate, creating improved circulation and functionality, clearing toxins and thus boosting the immune system. Muscle tension is reduced, resulting in an enhanced range of movement.
Who can benefit from cupping?
When we look beyond cupping for Olympics, we see celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston donning their tell-tale purple circles of cupping. At Bellabaci we treat many clients, with differing complaints, who are thrilled with the benefits of cupping. For people suffering from fibromyalgia, cupping has become a popular healing therapy, which is not surprising, given the fact that this is a painful muscular condition. Benefits have also been experienced by migraine sufferers as well as people needing to improve their digestive health, skin health, and respiratory health. Our clients also find relief from knee, shoulder and back pain after just one session of cupping!
Getting back to Olympic medalist, Phelps, who claims he does cupping almost every time he competes, has inspired us to create our very own Bellabaci Sports Range including our all natural muscle prep, the fire up pre-workout lotion and our muscle post workout, cool down lotion. Our fire up lotion invigorates muscles, increases blood circulation, prepares and protects joints, enhances endurance and improves performance while our cool down lotion improves endurance and performance, reduces muscle and joint pain, speeds up recovery and relieves stiffness and pain. Our SOS Repair Ointment targets swelling and inflammation speeds up healing after injury, acts as a natural pain reliever, and improves blood flow and lymphatic drainage.
Advice from the experts at Mayo Clinic is that athletes, (or anyone for that matter), who wants to use cupping as a healing practice, speak to specialists practising cupping. We at Bellabaci pride ourselves on our unique cupping practices as well as our cup enhancing products.
There’s a lot to be said for a healing modality that has survived the centuries!