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What Is Cupping, and What Can It Do for You?

Story at-a-glance -

  • Cupping is an ancient medical treatment; its Chinese roots date back to 300 or 400 A.D. Egyptian and Middle Eastern cultures also have ancient records of the practice
  • In cupping, suction cups of varying sizes are attached to the body. The suction draws stagnant blood to the surface of the skin and improves blood circulation through the tissues, which can speed healing
  • Research has found cupping may benefit conditions such as chronic neck and shoulder pain, arthritis of the knee, herpes zoster, facial paralysis and cervical spondylosis

By Dr. Mercola

Olympic swimming fans everywhere are talking about cupping these days: a discussion brought on by Michael Phelps' and Cody Miller's purple-dotted shoulders. Olympic gymnast Alex Naddour has also been seen sporting the hickey-like marks, and many other world-class athletes admit to using cupping.


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