• 12-08-2016

    What Are Those Marks on the Skin of Olympic Athletes? The Health Benefits of Cupping

    Cupping is enjoying a moment in the spotlight and we are thrilled to see so many people now curious about this ancient Chinese healing practice. Our own Dr. Drew Jamieson was on Global TV recently to demonstrate cupping on Dr. Allana. Cupping leaves behind superficial markings on the skin, as blood is drawn to the surface much in the same way a hickey might leave a trace. And seeing these telltale red dots on athletes has many people talking about what cupping is. Here’s some information, should you be looking for techniques to manage your own muscle pain or soreness.

    Cupping has been a part of both eastern and western medical practices for centuries, with evidence of it existing in Egyptian and Ancient Chinese cultures. It involves specialized cups, which are placed on the skin. Either through heat or an air pump, the cups create a suction drawing the skin up and away from the muscles under the surface. The cups remain on the skin for a few minutes and this is enough time to encourage blood flow to the affected area.

    As Dr. Jamieson explains in this video, we need blood in order to heal. The movement of blood and fluid to the affected area helps speed recovery and reduces muscle soreness from overuse and even injury.

    After a cupping session you will find the telltale marks of redness, but these should disappear within a few days. Cupping is not painful, feeling more like a deep tissue massage and therefore the marks left behind are not considered bruises; a bump on your leg for example hurts because muscle or fascia has been damaged. With cupping there is no damage to the underlying tissues just a movement of very beneficial blood and fluid to the site to speed healing and recovery. It is for this reason that so many athletes find benefit in cupping - it allows them to recover and get back into their sport. It is also a great tool for pain prevention and management.

    If you want to learn more about cupping, and to discuss if it is right for you, come and see us in the clinic! This service is provided by Dr. Drew Jamieson and Dr. Andrew Gansner.

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    Make an appointment by calling 604 544 7656.