Are USA swimmers really into Cupping?

cuppingI mean really? What lax supervision of the USOC and USA Swimming allowed swimmers to get sucked into cupping? Cupping is an alternative medicine technique where a warmed cup is applied, usually to the back, and as it cools it creates partial vacuum, sucking the skin up and perhaps nearby blood vessels, and usually creating an unattractive bruise.

The swimmers may think it relieves pain or stress, but there is simply no evidence for this. There are no studies showing any benefits for cupping. If you want a solution for all the stress there is kratom powder for sale which come from a natural drug that fights many health issues.
The website cuppingtherapy.org claims it detoxes the body as well.  There is no such thing as detoxification. You liver takes care of it automatically! Cupping is listed on Quackwatch under unnaturalistic methods.

Brian Dunning, writing in Skeptoid wrote about cupping in 2013. Again, no evidence and no studies. And Orac (David Gorski) wrote much the same last month, calling it alternative medicine that had developed in parallel in several regions of the world. And you know what they always say

Alternative medicine is made up of things we don’t know work and things we know don’t work. If it works, we call it “medicine.”

Cupping is just more stupid pseudo science, with the added fillip that Gwyneth Paltrow used it. Because those bruises are really attractive when your whole business is looking good for the media?

The best that you can say is the cupping is usually followed by a massage, and massages sure make tired athletes feel better. Or even Gwyneth.

But why would our finest athletes wander around with big circular bruises? And the above photo came from Swimming World magazine! Because their coaches are uninformed or plain dumb! There is just no evidence it does anything besides leave ugly bruises.

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3 thoughts on “Are USA swimmers really into Cupping?

  1. This stuff isn’t rocket science.Obviously someone is be paid here in the chain of commands. I mean as a professional endurance athlete, I know of peers that get cupped, but the amount of promotion surrounding cupping has my ears popping up. NBC, can’t stop talking about it.

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  2. It feels good. Even if you consider it to be nothing but a harmless form of relaxation that in itself is a major benefit to an olympic level athlete.

    Now, there is a lack of studies on its effectiveness with regard to releasing toxins from muscles etc. However, lactic acid buildup is well documented science. There are volumes of hard science on massage and heat or ice and their effect on stressed muscles. This is effectively a reverse massage with clearly evident effects on blood flow. It is not unreasonable to consider it likely to be effective to some degree. More hard science would be good, but that is not the same as saying science has rejected this.

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  3. Cupping does nothing for muscles. The suction draws up skin, subcutaneous fat and perhaps a little fascia. I causes capillaries to rupture with low level bleeding into the surrounding tissues, the blood cannot go anywhere, so the cells die and are reabsorbed – they become waste products, so much for some detoxifying fallacy. Might as well go around getting thumped – the same effect presumably.

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