The bruising on the skin of Olympians such as Micheal Phelps is no shaman or black magic. Those were marks from a traditional relaxation treatment also known as cupping or Ventosa cupping.
The Cupping technique leaves what looks like circular bruises on the skin, making it apparent if a person had undergone the treatment like Olympian swimmer, Michael Phelps. Cupping is said to have originated from ancient Chinese traditional medicine and has been practiced in China and the ASEAN region even in the modern times today.
It uses some heat source trapped into a transparent cup that is said to have good effect on the body part that is being treated. Phelps seems to agree on the benefits of cupping.
The heat from inside the cup creates a suction method that apparently aids in healing and invigorating the muscles. To feel the effect, the suction in the cup should be left on the skin for 10 to 15 minutes.
Although many people can vouch for the efficacy of cupping, there is still no scientific proof that cupping really works. Experts may not hinder the practice but they are adamant in taking precautions when getting a cupping treatment. This is due to the fact that malpractice can cause permanent skin damage, swelling, muscle damage, cuts and even first degree burns.
Some Western experts say that there are difference between traditional Chinese cupping and the cupping done today in the modern times. It could have been modified to suit the needs of modern men.
A lot of cupping aficionado admits that the process usually hurts and that the marks take days, sometimes weeks to disappear. But due to the ease and comfort cupping brings, they can live with the marks for a couple of weeks. And with cupping’s popularity in Asia and now all over the world, it seems like it doesn’t need much scientific probe to prove its efficacy after all.