Cup, Cup and Away with Inflammation
Myofascial therapy, better known as 'cupping', is an ancient Egyptian and Chinese alternative healing method that helps restore healthy blood flow and assists in quickly removing inflammation from the body. This is achieved by placing a cup over specific trigger points or sites of pain and imbalance, adding suction to the cup via an air pump or changing its internal temperature, thereby drawing toxins to the surface of the skin.
Some cupping therapies use a variety of oils or topical substances for added effect while the ancient Egyptians and Islamic traditionalists even went to the extent of making incisions after cupping, then reapplying the cup to draw out clotted blood (known as wet cupping). Anecdotally, I have tried both dry and wet cupping and have achieved desirable effects in treating both a severe ankle injury and chronic lower back pain. Cupping is also known to be effective in loosening and removing scar tissue as well as being a commonly used massage technique (known as slide cupping). Though the consensus among western medical professionals is that science does not support the validity of cupping, the practice has experienced a resurgence due to it being popular among Olympic athletes most notably Michael Phelps (notice the cupping marks over his collarbone below).
Learn more about cupping by checking out these two reads: