Michael Phelps popularized cupping when he showed up to the 2016 Olympics with bizarre purplish circles dotting his upper back and shoulders.
But it’s UFC fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov introducing us to a decidedly more extreme variant of the therapy HIJAMA.
It is a very common practice among athletes and is considered an effective treatment to increase motion and soothe sore and tired muscles. The increased blood flow to the treated areas helps to promote muscle healing. It is especially helpful when the patient is competing in a sport such as swimming, gymnastics, or track and field because they are constantly using these muscles. Increasing the blood flow will help loosen these muscles and improve the range of motion these athletes have. It is a way for these athletes to release the muscles and tendons that they are constantly using in their sport. It is also beneficial when combined with massage therapy and has been reported to help athletes considerably with their pain management during training and events.