So what is all this Olympics and Cupping HYPE actually about?

H for HYPE and H for Hijama Cupping Therapy…

The most decorated Olympian of all time; US Swimmer Michael Phelps and other US Athletes such as Alexander Naddour have been seen with large, round, purple marks on their bodies! What are they? How did they get there? It’s from a treatment called “Cupping.”

The whole world is going crazy about this new trend that these Athletes recently brought to the media’s attention. Naddour said that Cupping “provides relief from the soreness and pounding that come from gymnastics.”

It doesn’t stop there; other famous sports personalities such as Floyd Mayweather, Amir Khan, Manny Pacquiao and Shahid Afridi have all received Cupping.

Actors and Singers have also been seen in the past with these marks created by Cupping; Gwyneth Paltrow, Justin Bieber, Victoria Beckham, Freida Pinto and Jennifer Aniston have all been photographed with what look like Cupping marks.

So What is Cupping?

Cupping is essentially a natural, holistic detox therapy. It promotes blood circulation, oxygenation and relaxation. Contrary to popular belief, it is not just a Chinese therapy.  It has, in fact, been used by many cultures including Greek, Arabic, Egyptian, European, Native American and Asian for centuries.

There are different versions, names and cupping applications; but the fundamental practice is essentially the same. There is “Dry Cupping” and “Wet Cupping”.

Dry Cuppping

Under Dry Cupping, comes “Fixed Cupping” where cups are left stationary on the body. There is also “Moving” or “Massage Cupping” which uses oil on the body, and is like a deep tissue massage. This is the type of Cupping which is popular right now.

Fire Cupping

Typical cupping applications are “Fire Cupping”; where fire is used to remove oxygen from the cup and placed on to the body to create the suction and vacuum.

Glass, plastic, silicone, bone and bamboo cups can also be used. The most commonly used are disposable, single use valve cups and the vacuum is created manually by using a plastic pump.

Cups are placed on certain pressure points and meridians on the body. The tissue is “sucked” in to the cup and left to promote blood circulation. This in turn, releases stagnant “Qi” (Chinese for Life Force Energy) and re-energises the Patient.

It leaves localized “bruising”, but it is not painful at all. It is, in fact, just skin colouration. This colouration will disappear within 3-10 days depending upon your body type. This is why Olympians have been using Cupping; for pain relief and muscle relaxation.

Wet Cupping

Then there is “Wet Cupping”; a more advanced and intensive Cupping technique. It involves performing the Dry Cupping, then making small, shallow incisions on the cupped spots with a single use, sterile surgical blade. The purpose is to draw out debris and toxic, stagnant blood from the cupped areas.

Hijama Cupping Therapy

The Arabic verison is known as “Hijama Cupping Therapy”. “Hijama” literally means “sucking” in Arabic. It is an Islamic, natural healing art. It is based on religion and faith. It is the main recommended treatment method for any disease, ordered by Allah and practiced by Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him). He explained that Hijama is one of the best medicines: “The best medicine with which you treat yourselves is Hijama” (Reference: AlBukhari, 5371)