Cupping – Rio 2016

‘It has saved me from a lot of pain’: Team USA go crazy for ancient healing technique called cupping.

  • Several Team USA athletes have been pictured with small, circular marks
  • They subscribe to  the healing technique called cupping
  • Works by applying class cups to the skin and then creating suction
  • Gymnasts Alex Naddour and Chris Brooks swear by it
  • Swimmer Michael Phelps also uses it and prefers the cups to be heated

Several Team USA Olympians have been pictured with small, circular marks on their backs and shoulders, indicating that they subscribe to the healing technique called cupping.

The process dates back to Egyptian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern cultures and works by applying glass cups to the skin along the meridians of the body, creating suction as a way of stimulating the flow of energy.

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Several Team USA athletes have been pictured with small, circular marks on their backs and shoulders, including Team USA gymnast Alex Naddour (pictured)

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Naddour told USA Today that he found cupping ‘provides relief from the soreness and pounding that come from gymnastics’

Team USA gymnast Alex Naddour is also happy to go public and posted an Instagram picture of himself with a cupping mark clearly in view.

Naddour told USA Today that he found cupping ‘provides relief from the soreness and pounding that come from gymnastics’.

‘That’s been the secret that I have had through this year that keeps me healthy,’ Naddour said. ‘It’s been better than any money I’ve spent on anything else.’

He added: ‘Our bodies are going to hurt after doing this for so long. It’s the best thing that I’ve ever had. It has saved me from a lot of pain.’ Many of his fellow team mates do the same, with some even carrying it out themselves, by applying the cups and creating suction with a pump.

Team captain Chris Brooks said: ‘You’re like, ‘OK, I’m sore here. Throw a cup on, and your roommate will help you or you can do it yourself.’

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A cupping mark is visible on swimmer Michael Phelps’ right shoulder in this Instagram picture

Some techniques involve heated cups, which all-world swimmer Michael Phelps favors.