What are those red circles on Michael Phelps?

Are those cupping marks on Micheal Phelps?
This is the question I most heard from my patients last summer during the olympics.
The 23 time medal winner phelps is one of many athletes who have been seen sporting these red circles as well as celebrities such as Jennifer Anniston and Gwyneth Paltrow.
So what is cupping, and how does it help? 
Cupping is over three thousand years old and had been used for many conditions from cellulite to muscular problems.
Cupping can either be static dry cupping, where cups are retained on tension spots by causing a suction for 5-15 minutes, or sliding cupping , where oils are used so cups glide on the skin which many favor as it feels like a deep tissue massage.
What causes the red purple marks?
The cupping marks that can occur afterwards are considered a positive sign in Chinese medicine, this is because the more tension or 'stagnation' there is in the body, the less circulation or 'flow of qi' there is which can then lead to pain in the body. The red or purple spots show the release of old blood stagnation to the surface promoting a new flow of circulation underneath. If you do get cupping marks after your treatment these marks only last 3-4 days, and with regular cupping, stagnation will be cleared completely - so many patients don't get any marking what so ever.
Is is effective? 
Cupping is considered very powerful, it can penetrate 4cm into the skin, it is also quickly effective, most report either feeling less tense, have headache relief or have more movement straight after a cupping treatment.
If you are interested in trying cupping therapy here in Norwich please contact Lily direct on 07530744917 for a consultation or to make a booking.
Lily Bayliss on 02/03/2017