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Do you suffer from back or neck pain? Do you feel ill? Does your qi need to be unblocked? If you answered yes to any of these questions then cupping may be for you. You may be asking yourself, “what the heck is cupping?”

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In layman’s terms, cupping therapy is a form of alternative medicine intended to treat and relieve muscle pain, reduce inflammation, increase blood flow, and boost overall well-being. The treatment is performed by using cups that range in size from three-quarters of an inch to four inches in diameter. They’re then placed on the skin while the air is removed by a pump or by lighting a flame inside of the cup to create a small vacuum. Do keep in mind that cupping frequently causes marks on the skin (due to bringing blood to the surface). The marks usually last anywhere from a few days up to two weeks. It’s normal to experience some discomfort but it should not be painful.

You may not exactly be sprinting out the door to try cupping, but don’t worry because a ton of celebrities have tried it, so you don’t have to.

Swimmer, Michael Phelps, sparked the popularity of cupping during the 2016 Rio Olympics, among many other athletes. And as you can see, there is no shortage of cupping among swimmers, check out Natalie Coughlin’s marks.

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We think you can call this a half-cup full situation.

Now, if you’re a part of the rest of the population that does not train competitively,  upping may still be a great alternative form of pain relief.

Here’s a better picture of what’s actually going on.

Cupping is not a science and the benefits are not based on high-quality research. However, many individuals have reaped its potential benefits. Try it out for yourself and see you’re up for the cup!

Photo Credits: Instagram