Cupping is Having its Olympic Moment

Cupping is Having its Olympic Moment

Cara O. Frank, L.OM.

The 2016 Summer Olympics are here! We can’t help but feel proud of all the athletes and the pageantry. This year we are excited to see many Olympians have giant red circles visible on their bodies.

So what’s with all the polka dots festooning the swimmers and the gymnast’s shoulders, backs, torsos and legs? It’s not Zika, it’s not a hickie and it’s not measles. They are marks from cupping!

What is Cupping?

Cupping is an ancient therapy where heated cups are strategically placed on the skin forming a suction. Traditionally made of glass or bamboo, nowadays, we also use cups made of silicone and plastic. The suction that is formed promotes blood flow to the area, leaving those distinct red marks. The marks typically fade after 1-4 days. In our practice, we usually combine cupping as part a treatment along with acupuncture and herbs

So why are the Olympians getting cupped?

Michael Phelps is a big fan of cupping. He uses it to help keep is joints loose and to combat the physical toll of training and competing. These Olympians are still using massage, ice and heat, but we are really happy that cupping is having its Olympic moment. Cupping is not just for athletes.

In the past few years, we’ve seen pictures of movie stars, like Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston with cupping marks. But guess what, you don’t have to be an athlete or a movie star to be cupped. We use it for normal wear and tear, backaches and we even use tiny cups for facial rejuvenation! We love using sliding cups to help iron out muscle spasms and other disorders.

Is it safe?

Cupping is safe for almost everyone, including children. We generally avoid using it on pregnancy women, and we don’t use it if there is a risk of venous thrombosis. There is no risk of a burn because we usually use cups without fire. Cupping does not hurt; there is just a pulling sensation from the suction.

Cupping may be new to you, but we have been using cupping in Chinese medicine for centuries. So what are you waiting for? Whether you’re in pain or just want a relaxing treatment, come on in and experience it for yourself.

About Cara Frank, L.OM.

Cara Frank, L.OM. was raised by in a health food store in Brooklyn NY. When she was 8 she cartwheeled 5 miles from Greenwich Village through Soho and Chinatown and across the Brooklyn Bridge. For over 33 years she has had the same crazy passion for Chinese medicine. At 17 she had her first acupuncture treatment. At 20 she enrolled in acupuncture school. In 1998 she went to China to study where she fell deeply in love with Chinese herbs. Since then, she has devoted her life to studying and teaching the topic.

Cara is the founder of Six Fishes Healing Arts and Six Fishes Neighborhood Acupuncture, both in Philadelphia where she maintains a busy acupuncture practice and acts as the head fish of two warm and lively offices. She is also the president of China Herb Company. You can read her full bio or schedule an appointment.

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Cara started helping me over 16 years ago. I had been trying to get pregnant for 7 years. She gave me ‘real’ herbs to boil and make tea. After getting pregnant, Cara helped my son Sam with food allergies. I now also have a daughter (age 13) and another son (age 9). I was recently approached at a party after I said that herbs and acupuncture cured my infertility. Thanks, and thank you Cara, for your help. Being a mom…it’s the best part of my life.

Renee K