Cupping therapy has been around for many thousands of years. Thought to have been started in ancient China, cupping is not quite as fringe as other ancient Chinese medicinal practices you may have heard of. Many of the world’s most popular and successful athletes use cupping as a way to increase blood flow as well as muscle growth.
While it might look weird, it actually has some really great benefits that can give you the edge you need when striving for athletic excellence. Let’s take a look at cupping and how it can help you build muscle fast.
Does Cupping Really Work?
The short answer is yes. Some claim that cupping is pseudoscience or quackery, but even athletes like Michael Phelps have used cupping for performance improvements. On its own, it can be effective, but when combined with custom personalized training and a rock solid nutrition plan, cupping can have major positive effects on recovery and muscle growth. Regardless of whether you’re a professional athlete, or if you’re just very serious about your workout habits, cupping therapy will give you the results that you’ve been looking for.
Cupping Therapy Benefits
There are two types of cupping, wet and dry. Dry cupping involves the placement of small glass or bamboo jars all over the intended area, like the back, or a knee, for instance. Wet cupping involves the same thing, but with a small incision made for each cup first.
The cups are suctioned so that they pull on the skin and the blood, drawing it to the surface. This is said to help blood flow more easily in places where it doesn’t typically reach all that well. It’s also said to help break up blockages of debris within your body, as well as congested energy.
The jury’s still out on the energy blockage stuff, but there is a lot we still don’t know about the human body and it could very well be true. Those who truly believe in it certainly seem to experience these positive effects, which is the intended goal whether it’s powered by the placebo effect or not.
As far as muscle growth goes, the increased blood flow to broken down muscles is what helps them grow back much more quickly. Similar outcomes are desired by the makers of items like leg boots, which use pressure to force blood into the legs to help them recover faster.
Cupping therapy has the same effect, but you can do it anywhere on your body. It’s also great for healing specific injuries in areas where blood flow is as strong.
What To Do After Cupping
After a cupping session, you’ll want to rest up and let your skin heal. If you’ve done wet cupping your practitioner will clean your wound and put a bandage on it so it doesn’t get infected. The side effects are mild, the bruising and swelling of the skin should go down within a week or so. You might experience some mild burning or discomfort from the procedure itself, but it very easy to handle and goes away almost immediately.
It’s Not Just Pseudoscience
Some people are quick to dismiss things like cupping therapy, but the verdict is in. It works. If you want to experience faster muscle growth and recovery from injury, a good cupping session or two can really help speed things up and get you back to action in no time!