US swimmer Michael Phelps got social media buzzing after he won his nineteenth gold medal in Rio.
It wasn’t just the achievement that got olympic watchers talking, he sported mysterious brown purplish circles on his body, that left many wondering what they were.
He’s not the only one: gymnast Alex Naddour also sported the purple circles.
Those are marks left behind after the swimmer underwent treatment using the ancient Chinese practice of cupping.
Some doctors say that cupping jump starts the body’s natural healing process.
Acupuncturist Erika Weber offers cupping to her clients and says,
“An athlete can benefit from cupping because it moves blood stagnation in the muscle layer. When there’s blood stagnation, it causes range of motion issues, inflammation, so this helps bring it to the surface of the skin, so free flow of blood can move through the muscles and help move muscles more freely.”
Some doctors say the increased blood flow from cupping allows the body do what it does to help resolve any issues.
The practice is also popular in Hollywood.
Justin Bieber, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston have all been spotted with deep red circles on their bodies.