During the Rio Olympics this year you may have noticed big purple bruises appearing on certain athletes bodies! Michael Phelps as well as plenty of other swimmers plus a lot of the gymnasts all had these welts, predominantly on their shoulders and upper backs. These bruises occur as a result of cupping therapy.
Cupping therapy is an ancient Chinese form of medicine that was originally used to create an energy flow to a particular area of the body. These days cupping is used in a similar way but to increase blood flow to certain areas such as the all important shoulders for swimmers and gymnasts. There are two different types of cupping therapy, wet and dry cupping. Wet cupping is a medicinal type of cupping.
Dry cupping is the type of cupping Matt Holland Fitness use in various locations around the northwest. This can be provided in different ways, such as using heat to cause the suction or, as we use, a vacuum pump which is attached to the end of a transparent cup. This type of therapy is completely painless, though be prepared for gawping eyes if you expose the treated area of skin in public for a day or two afterwards!
The air is drawn out of the cup to cause the skin to suck up into the cup, pulling the skin away from the muscle underneath. This in turn causes increased blood flow in and around the muscle providing essential oxygen for muscle recovery after training. Once the suction has been released, after a few minutes, the circular bruise is what remains. This treatment is performed on any area of the body where issues may lie, in the example above there was an issue in the back of the leg that was eased with the cupping therapy. We also use cupping therapy on the back for particularly stubborn stress spots and sports injuries etc.
Again, this is painless, effective and the bruise usually disappears within a few days. Cupping Therapy is provided at various locations throughout the northwest (Chorley, Bamber Bridge and Ormskirk). Give Matt a ring on 07912 754088 to book in and experience the latest sports therapy, as part of a sports massage, full body massage, back massage or as a treatment on it’s own.