Cupping is an ancient form of alternative medicine

Cupping can be used to promote healing, release tension in muscles and fascia,

increase movement, reduce pain, boost circulation and reduce inflammation.  It causes temporary bruising which fades over a few days.

 

There are different types of cupping and Paula at Postural Health Ltd performs "dry cupping" where small suction cups are placed on the skin where required and then various techniques may be used including sliding, muscle activation and massage.

 

 

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"It feels like suction, like an Octopus" according to Serena Williams

During the Rio Olympics, American swimmer Michael Phelps was seen winning gold medals with dark red circles across his shoulders and back.

 

According to WTA Sports Science and Medicine team member, Kathy Queen, "In cupping a cup is placed on the skin and a vacuum is created that lifts the skin and immediate layers underneath including fascia.  This allows for increased flow of fresh blood and fluid in the area and if moved along the skin's surface (called sliding) helps break up fascial adhesions. The temporary bruising created from the vacuum effect also plays an anti-inflammatory role.

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Many celebrities including Gwynneth Paltrow, Victoria Beckham, Jennifer Anniston, Justin Beiber, Anthony Joshua have been spotted with the trademark circular bruises.