As I tuned in last night to watch my first Olympic events, my attention turned not to the athletes, but what was ON the athletes. Large dark circles on their shoulders, arms, and backs. I've got to be honest, they look awful, but there is a reason behind them. It's called 'cupping' and it's been done for centuries.

Cupping is an ancient therapy that can be traced back to ancient times in China and other parts of Asia. What makes the marks? Warmed, glass cups are placed on various parts of the body. The suction used is said to increase blood flow, stimulate muscles, and increase healing. Many athletes used cupping in their recovery process.

Michael Phelps is one of the notable U.S. Olympic athletes who believes in cupping. He even featured a bit of it in one of his promotional videos.



[via CNN]