Olympians Are Embracing It, But Jury’s Still Out On If Cupping Works
There are small studies that show cupping might help relieve pain and muscle fatigue, but they don’t account for the potential of a placebo effect. Meanwhile, Stat looks at other ways the athletes try to get an edge -- and if they work.
There's Little Scientific Proof 'Cupping' Helps Olympic Athletes
Michael Phelps is red, white, and black and blue all over this Olympics thanks to a scientifically questionable technique known as cupping. Phelps and other athletes are turning to cupping therapy in hopes of healing their sore muscles. It’s a procedure based in ancient medicine in which cups are placed on top of the skin. The cups create a vacuum, pulling up the skin in an effort to stimulate blood flow to the area. (Thielking, 8/8)
Cupping Gets Its Close-Up In Rio Olympics
Swimmer Michael Phelps won Olympic gold again Sunday while covered in red — red spots, roughly medal-size, all over his shoulders and back. The marks were the result of an ancient Eastern medicinal therapy known as cupping that is achieving new popularity among some athletes in the United States, including numerous Olympians. Cupping typically involves treating muscle pain and other ailments with cups that apply suction to skin. Cupping is often combined with other forms of alternative medicine, such as acupuncture and massage. (Beans, 8/8)
Cheese Curds? Mustard Baths? Olympic Athletes Prep For Battle
Athletes have always had special ways of preparing for, and recovering from, competition. And elite athletes are no exception. Here’s a rundown of six other ways Olympic competitors hope to get an edge — and what science has to say about them. (Samuel, 8/8)