How can Suction Cupping help my Athletic Performance?

Ebers Papyrus. Photo Credit: Hanf Museum Berlin

Ebers Papyrus. Photo Credit: Hanf Museum Berlin

What is it?

You thought acupuncture had been around the block a while, cupping is actually one of, if not the, oldest medical technique that we know of. It’s so old, in fact, that it’s part of the Ebers Papyrus, the oldest collection of medical writings we have. It’s in this collection of Egyptian medical treatments from 1550BC that cupping is first detailed.

The treatment consists of using small cups to create a vacuum that gently pulls the underlying skin and tissues. Similar to that thing you did as a child where you sucked all the air out of the cup you were drinking out of to get it stuck to your face.  Just me? Okay.

That sounds a bit silly, how’s that meant to help?” I hear you asking.  Suction cupping provides a lot of health benefits, especially for athletes.

How?

Photo Credit: Mango Acupuncture

Photo Credit: Mango Acupuncture

Prevents Injury

·    Stretching out muscles and fascia helps to resolve tension, adhesions and knots

·    Keeping muscles and fascia flexible and improving circulation, will help to prevent injury and optimise performance

Aids Recovery

·    The suction increases local circulation which encourages healing of muscular injuries commonly sustained during exercise or overuse (specifically neck, shoulder, and back). (1) 

·    Improved circulation helps the body recover excess fluids, reducing inflammation. (2)

It may look a little odd, but it’s actually painless, and very relaxing!

Photo Credit: Mango Acupuncture

Photo Credit: Mango Acupuncture

Cupping comes in several forms, including creating the vacuum with an open flame and ‘wet cupping’ which involves letting blood and placing the cup over the area. While other forms of cupping do have well documented results and benefits, we only practice cupping with a small pump at Mango, because it’s safer and we don’t want to set anyone on fire.

Elite athletes who’ve shared their positive experiences of cupping therapy; Kobe Bryant (NBA), Michael Phelps (Olympic swimmer), Alex Naddour (Olympic gymnast), Kyle Singler (NBA), among others.

-Emma Mango

1.      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4814666/

2.      http://www.mdpi.com/2411-5142/1/4/373/pdf

Photo Credit: Mango Acupuncture

Photo Credit: Mango Acupuncture