Why Michael Phelps Has Cup Markings On His Back

Chinese cupping provides benefits for pain relief as well as those suffering from respiratory challenges. The process also helps individuals suffering from other ailments. The technique is popular among the Chinese as well as the Orientals and even dates back to around 300 AD (Ge Hong).

What is Cupping?

Cupping is a technique which uses small glass cups, or bamboo jars to create suction against the skin of the back, ankles, wrists, or other areas of the body. Suction is created in a variety of ways. One method includes applying alcohol to the rim of the cup, warming it, and placing it on the skin immediately. Another method of suction is created by inverting the glass cup and placing a small flame into it momentarily, then placing it on the skin. Flames are never used near the surface of the skin.

A gliding process is used across the skin while the vacuum exists. This technique provides an inverse massage to the skin and shallow muscle layer providing a gentle pressure. The patient becomes relaxed during the process while gaining the health benefits it provides.

What are the Health Benefits of Cupping?

The gentle cupping process helps to loosen the muscles and can be targeted to painful areas of the body. Blood flow to the areas cupped increase and the nervous system becomes relaxed. Cupping is known to provide relief from back pain, neck pain, migraines, anxiety, muscle stiffness, fatigue, and rheumatism. The process is even used to treat cellulitis and help aid weight loss.

Does Cupping Provide Deep Tissue Therapy?

Cupping is actually one of the best deep tissue therapies available. The process provides benefits for tissues even as deep as four inches. Toxins are released during the session, and blood systems refreshed in the nearby vicinity of application.


  1. Bobbie Dicking says:

    Thank you for sharing this information. I certainly was wondering about those circles on his back.

  2. sefanit adkins says:

    I have seen this done in Ethiopia when I was a child. I always wondered what it was for. Thank you, Dr. Colbert, for clarifying it.

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