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Marks On Olympic Athletes Beg The Question, "What Is 'Cupping' Anyway?"

Aug 10, 2016

Cupping is used to treat muscle and back pain.
Credit Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medical Center

The practice of "cupping" has been gaining attention due to its use by some high-profile athletes at the Olympic games. 'Cupping' is not just for Olympic athletes, it's been done in Ann Arbor for years.


It's a form of traditional Chinese medicine related to acupuncture that's used to increase blood flow and help reduce muscle pain and inflammation.

I talked with Dr. Raymond Kong, the director of the Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medical Center in Ann Arbor, about the treatment.

Kong's family has practiced medicine for 8 generations, and it's been treating people in Ann Arbor for 20 years.

Dr Raymond Kong
Credit Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medical Center

He says several Eastern Michigan University students and local athletes have come to him for treatment.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Sports Illustrated provides information regarding "cupping" at the 2016 Olympics.

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— Lisa Barry is a reporter, and host of All Things Considered on 89.1 WEMU. Contact her at 734.487.3363, on twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her lbarryma@emich.edu