Complementary therapies embraced at Olympics

It’s good to see complementary therapy having a presence at the 2016 Summer Olympics, as a number of athletes show signs of cupping.


Cupping has been especially embraced by Team USA and its swimmers and gymnasts. Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time, is perhaps the most notable to have been spotted in Rio with the large red circles the therapy typically leaves on the skin.

Cupping is practiced by many acupuncturists and involves heating glass cups with a naked flame and then placing these on specific acupoints of the body, creating a vacuum. The practice traces its roots back to ancient China and is used for lymphatic drainage, to reduce pain and improve well-being.

Read more about acupuncture and cupping in our Reading Room

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