The Olympics are back with a bang, boosting off an array of athletes with eyes gleaming with fiery determination. Athletic icons like Usain Bolt and Alex Naddour look like lean, mean, fighting machines, in the best shape ever and at the cusp of life itself. But some of them like to follow a therapy called cupping therapy.

Wait a minute, what’s this? What is this cupping therapy? Those circular, UFO like bruises on the back of top level athletes like Michael Phelps and Chris Brookes scream domestic abuse or some kind of gruesome torture they might have endured in the past. But all those misguided, naïve individuals who think this is some sort of satanic ritual, I hate to break it to you, but this is the aftermath of an ancient, medically proven technique known as ‘cupping’ or as the Muslims say ‘Hijama’.

Cupping therapy is a form of alternative medicine in which cups are placed on the skin to create suction. It can be considered an inverse of massage, as instead of applying pressure to muscles, in cupping therapy, suction cups are used to pull skin tissue in order to enhance blood circulation, relieve pain and get rid of harmful toxins.

If you are looking for medical approval for this unorthodox technique, according to the National Center of Biotechnology Information, “Cupping therapy combined with other TCM treatments was significantly superior to other treatments alone in increasing the number of cured patients with herpes zoster, facial paralysis, acne, and cervical spondylosis.”

Not convinced yet, well Alex Naddour has admitted that the relief he acquired from cupping was better than all the exorbitant massages, hot tub therapy and cortisone shots combined. “That’s been the secret that I have had through this year that keeps me healthy,” Naddour said. Amir Khan, a legend in the making, the real life Rocky Balboa, has given his approval as he tweeted out: “Just had a great cupping session done.”


It is part of human nature to experience new things and before you give it your stamp of disapproval, I urge everyone to take a leap of faith and try it out. Out with the bad blood (not the song by Taylor Swift!) and in with the new.