Questioning the New Cupping Craze

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SCRANTON -- Some members of Team USA competing in the Olympic Games in Rio have made a holistic healing method hot again.

The practice of cupping has actually been around for thousands of years. People who offer it here in our area say they're benefiting from all the attention.

Michael Phelps collection of gold medals in drawing attention, and so is the collection of purple spots seen on Phelps' back and all over the bodies of several members of Team USA.

From the pools in Rio to the pools in Scranton, cupping is captivating to swimmers.

"I saw them when he was racing, and I was wondering. I thought it was a tattoo or something. I was like, 'why would you get a tattoo like that?''' said Holy Cross swimmer Jaclyn Finnerty.

"I've seen all the photos on Facebook, and I've read a little bit into it," said Scranton High School swimmer Darren Pitts. "I've been swimming for 10 years and I have no idea how it helps them at all."

To clear up the cupping confusion, we visited Holly Rabbe, an acupuncturist in South Abington Township who has recently gotten a lot of calls about the ancient Chinese healing practice.

"When something gets some press time, it definitely, even acupuncture, or any time Dr. Oz will do something about acupuncture or cupping, I get calls, more calls."

Rabbe uses heat cupping. She heats up the air inside a glass cup, creating suction. Her patient, Katie, says it doesn't hurt, that it feels like a deep tissue massage.

Rabbe says Olympians like Phelps use cupping to increase blood flow to their muscles.

"For him, it's helping to get rid of all those toxins and getting all the muscles to recover faster so that he can function better, getting everything loose, so he can function optimally," Rabbe explained.

But for rest of us, Rabbe says cupping can cure things from muscle pain to chest congestion. She only suggests you get advice from a licensed acupuncturist or massage therapist before giving it a try yourself.

3 comments

  • Valfreyja

    What a disgusting lack of objectivity, WNEP. You are a news station, you are supposed to report facts. Instead you gave us a voodoo endorsement. Unusually poor show.

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