You’ll be surprised to find out why Olympic Athletes have red spots on their bodies

The entire world has its eyes well and truly on Rio where the Olympics are now in its second week. We have no doubt seen gripping and breathtaking performances where records have been smashed with emotional gold medal moments where Athletes are excelling far beyond expectations.

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However the focus is on swimming where spectators have definitely noticed something peculiar on the bodies of famous swimmers like 23 time Olympic medal winner Michael Phelps. Fans and spectators are equally confused at the spectacle of athletes with red spots on their bodies. What is this red mark? Although it looks like bruises, it’s highly unlikely that Michael Phelps was beaten up before his event. There is certainly more to these red spots featured all over their bodies.

1 What Are the Red Spots on Michael Phelps Body?

The real reason behind these red spots will surprise you as there is a very logical and definite reason. The red markings covering swimmers bodies are a new natural therapy known as cupping. With its origins in Chinese health medicine, cupping has been widely accepted by sportsman to increase blood circulation so that blood is effectively transported to those areas most experiencing the rigors of exercise. This is the reason for the spots in strategic areas of the body.

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Before we go on to explain cupping, the main reason for blood mobilization and transportation is oxygen. An increase of oxygen transported to muscles helps them recover faster from the strain of the rigorous performances. Moreover it also reduces the intensity of strain and soreness placed upon muscles.

Red Spots on Michael Phelps Body

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2 The Process of Cupping Therapy

A rounded cup is placed upon the surface of the skin on any area randomly selected by the therapist. A piece of cotton or lint is lit and placed inside. Once the flame goes out, the cooled air creates a vacuum where the skin is pulled taut into the air tight cup. It produces a feeling of being sucked into the cup. The remedy is a Chinese medicinal practice and guesses where you may have seen this first. It featured in a very popular movie. Remember Jackie Chan and Jayden Smith in Karate Kid?? Well that’s exactly what Chan his trainer does when Jayden’s character is injured.

The Process of Cupping Therapy

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3 An Ancient Form of Chinese Acupuncture

The procedure of Cupping is the reason behind athletes with red spots on their bodies as it creates the red blotch. The therapy is similar to Chinese acupuncture. Although not entirely painless it benefits athletes to a high degree in enabling faster muscle recovery and relief from muscle soreness and pain. Cupping as a form of acupuncture can also help reduce several conditions such as back pain and muscle inflammation.

So now you know those aren’t gigantic love bites from bouts of merrymaking but genuine natural therapy to help athletes improve their performance and experience as little soreness as possible.

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Chinese Acupuncture

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4 The Ancient Egyptians Also Practiced Cupping

Did you know that cupping therapy dates back to the Egyptian era where the world’s oldest treatise on medicine, the Ebers Papyrus written in 1500 BC dedicates a chapter on cupping as a medicinal therapy practiced by the Egyptians.
The use of cupping as a form of Chinese medicine dates back to the time of one of Chinas most famous alchemists well versed in Taoism philosophy Ge Hong who lived from 281 to 241 AD.

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 Ancient Egyptians Also Practiced Cupping

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5 New forms of Alternate therapy are helping Athletes improve their performances

Besides Athletes with red spots, others are trying a variety of alternate remedies to improve their performances. One of them is using blue Kinesio tape all over certain points of their bodies. Kinesio tape can reduce pain and inflammation as well as improve performance.

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Known as Kinesiology tape, it was developed by a Japanese chiropractor Doctor Kenzo Kase in 1979. Kineseo tape enhanced the results of manual therapy and served as a continued period of treatment during the intervals between therapy sessions. Thus the healing process was permanent and not temporary. From Tennis stars to volleyball players and sprinters, kinesio tape is the new therapy next to cupping and it seems athletes are benefitting no doubt.

Athletes with red spots

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