This is a common response to people showing off a freshly-"cupped" back. Cupping is a Chinese medicine technique in which suction cups are placed on the skin to mobilize blood flow, reduce pain, and promote healing. Even though cupping has been practiced in ancient Egypt and in China since 1000BC, most Americans first learned about it while watching the 2008 Summer Olympics, noting the large circular marks on the backs of Chinese swimmers. (And for us USWeekly readers, we learned about it from Gwenyth's shocking appearance on the red carpet in 2004. Oh, Gwenyth! Always a trailblazer...) Luckily, us mere mortals can also benefit from this gold medal/red carpet-worthy treatment!
Cupping is extremely effective as a natural back pain, neck pain, and shoulder pain treatment, as well as sciatica treatment (Cao, 2012). Further, ongoing studies show that this ancient practice is a promising natural treatment for shingles (herpes zoster), facial paralysis (Bell palsy), cough and dyspnea, acne, lumbar disc herniation, and cervical spondylosis (Kim, 2011). Unlike conventional pain medications, cupping has no side effects, except for the tell-tale purple marks of this highly effective pain treatment. (The marks are not permanent and fade after a few days, though we highly encourage a few selfies before they do. #LookWhatBryanDidToMe) Most clients agree that this is a small price to pay for a pain-free life—unless you wear a bikini for a living!