When Michael Phelps dove into the water Sunday night it was hard not to notice the giant welts on his body. It had a lot of people questioning what exactly those bruises were from. They are the result of a therapy called cupping.
Cupping is when little glass jars are suctioned to your skin to increase blood flow and help relieve pain.
“So, the blood that we pull to the surface actually creates space deeper into the tissue into the muscle fibers themselves for fresh blood to come in and nourish that tissue, promote healing, and improve circulation,” said Tom Ingegno, with Charm City Integrative Health in Canton.
While it's thought to be a new technique it actually dates back thousands of years.
“To ancient Egypt almost 4,000 years ago,” said Ingegno.
However, thanks to Michael Phelps and other celebrities, cupping is experiencing a resurgence in popularity.
“It felt a little weird but then I fell asleep and now I feel really relaxed, it was nice,” said Laurel Jansen, who tried cupping for the first time.
“It's a very weird sensation, there's the sensation of the skin being drawn up into the cup. I wouldn't call it pain, we can also mediate how strong those cups go on so for people that can tolerate more we can do more and we can do less as well,” Ingegno said.
Cupping is also used for chest congestion or emphysema, but it's mostly utilized for sore muscles. Charm City Integrative Health also offers salt therapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and full body cryotherapy that reaches temperatures of -265 degrees.
A half-hour session for cupping costs around $60, if you’d like more information on the services provided by Charm City Integrative Health, click here.