Leave it to fitness people and pro athletes to try anything to relieve pain and improve performance. No matter how weird it is, if it grabs hold then all of a sudden it will go from fad to regular practice and that’s just what’s happened with the practice of cupping.
Cupping is an old, very old Oriental practice often working in tandem with treatments like acupuncture and other things. It’s really caught on and rumors are that top Olympians are using the practice like gold Winner legend Michael Phelps. As it stands right now, cupping has taken the athletic world by storm and people all over are using it.
Actually there’s only one certified body in the US that can be allowed to use cupping and that’s the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. What’s more amazing is how the process works.
An empty cup, clear glass usually is turned upside down and placed on the area that needs the treatment. Often multiple cups are used for large areas of the body. The cups are heated and the suction and heat dilate the blood vessels inside producing several positive effects. Only rare cases of mild types of scalding have been reported but aside from that, all seems well.
What’s amazing here is that no need for drugs or invasive procedures unless acupuncture is included with the therapy.
This year’s Olympics will really put cupping to the test on multiple levels. Statistics will be gathered regarding which athletes used which cupping regimens either exclusively or with other therapies like massage, acupuncture and so on. Injuries treated with cupping will be a major test to see how effective the technique is. Does it bring about healing and recovery faster than traditional techniques? If so, that data will be of considerable value as the public has a penchant for copying whatever the big sports stars do. It can also cut into the pain medication epidemic too. Alternatives to opiate based medication is highly sought after and if cupping proves itself out, that problem might see a big chunk taken out of it.
It’s a good bet the FDA or some other government body will be leaping in to evaluate cupping because anything that cures people the government seems to want banned especially when that cure or treatment doesn’t involve pharmaceuticals. The cupping community had better be ready for this as it’s going to happen if they like it or not. This is why solid statistical data has to be collected under the watchful eye of professionals. Clinical trials have to be done and not sponsored by pharmaceutical companies who’ll be looking to exploit every failure or mishap.
It’s a shame America medicine is run for profit only and not for the curing of any illness or injury but that’s capitalism gone amok for you.
As time goes on, top athletes and other celebrities will be promoting cupping and it will turn into more than just a fad because if it works, it’s cheap and no side effects except an occasional red mark on the skin. Other than that it’s apparently safe and effective.
As the Olympics closes we’ll see how well cupping is applied and then if it’s picked up by the major sports leagues like football and basketball. So for now, all we can do is keep a sharp eye on the cupping craze and evaluate for oneself.
Image credit: Sylvain Robin