Unless you have been living under a rock you would have heard of or seen the purple patches on Olympic hero Michael Phelps who has won twenty three medals already and for the sake of the sport, hopefully isn’t done. The purple patch (not just his medal winning streak) is an outcome of an ancient Chinese therapy called cupping therapy.

Cupping therapy has been around since ancient times and some historians even say that it was prevalent in 3000 BC or five thousand years ago. The benefits of this therapy are many starting from the fact that there are no side effects which occur when you take drugs. Cupping therapy has been used to help reduce pain, especially of the lower back, improve digestion, reduce depression by inducing relaxation, help improve your skin and improve your respiration.

Cupping therapy works by eliminating toxic waste in your body. Over time due to the toxins that you ingest breathe in or enter your body through your skin your blood starts to thicken or congest. This blocks the free movement of blood in your body thereby reducing the flow of oxygen, nutrients and other minerals. This same blockage also reduces the ability to eliminate carbon dioxide from your body. Some of the symptoms of this can be aches and pains in your body, diarrhea, headaches, fever and cough.

Cupping is not pain free and depending on what you are trying to solve, the pain can range from mild to severe. Therefore this may not be everyone’s cup of tea and hey not everyone  can compete for the Olympics. This is however, a time test non invasive process to balance the blood flow in your body with minimal side effects. If you do decide to try this, please do find a qualified person to perform the therapy. 


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.