APR 03, 2018 07:10 AM PDT

Does Cupping Really Work?


Anyone who watched the 2016 Summer Olympics couldn't help but notice the circular bruises on some of the athletes. It's called cupping, and it's a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) treatment. It involves glass vessels placed on the skin. These cups then draw suction, which is how the bruising appears. It's supposed to treat deep scar tissue, knots in muscles and inflammation, but no one knows exactly how it works. In ancient times, some practitioners would also include bloodletting in the treatment, which is not that common anymore. "Wet cupping" is where bleeding is induced, but it's not known how many practitioners still offer that.

Glass cups are placed on the skin and suction is created either by heating and cooling the air in the cups, or with an air hose. Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps is a fan of the treatment as are many elite athletes, but there's some controversy over it as well since no one seems to know exactly how it works or if it could be causing more problems than it treats. While it's considered alternative medicine, there are many who swear by it for treating pain, inflammation and deep tissue injury.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
JUL 22, 2018
Videos
JUL 22, 2018
Goodbye to Louisiana
One-fourth of Louisiana’s coastline has already disappeared since just the 1930s. Every hour, Louisiana loses about a football field of land to the s...
JUL 30, 2018
Videos
JUL 30, 2018
A Robotic Helping Hand
Ever wish you had a way to get more done? Scientists at the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute in Kyoto Japan might be able to give you a hand&...
AUG 09, 2018
Videos
AUG 09, 2018
History of Cannabis
The video above explains a brief overview on the history of cannabis and how the federal government, the states, and the general public have all made an im...
AUG 10, 2018
Videos
AUG 10, 2018
Why Cuttlefish are Called Chameleons of the Sea
Did you know that cuttlefish can change color, texture, and shape? Did you know they contain a bone called the cuttlebone? There is a reason why they are c...
AUG 12, 2018
Videos
AUG 12, 2018
How A Therapeutic Gene Circuit Might Work
University of Wyoming researchers demonstrate their research in optogenetics....
AUG 21, 2018
Plants & Animals
AUG 21, 2018
Animals Have Changed a Lot Since Humans Began Breeding Them
People first started breeding animals about 10,000 years ago, and it’s safe to say that many bred animals have changed a lot since then. After people...
Loading Comments...