I think we have all seen the big purple circles on Michael Phelps back and shoulders when he takes off his shirt to get into the pool at the Rio Olympics. It's actually a practice called cupping. It's a procedure my wife, Jenny, has has had done for the past couple of years to help with her frozen shoulder.

What is Cupping?

According to the Oxford Pocket Dictionary, "Cupping is a Chinese medicine therapy in which heated glass cups are applied to the skin along the meridians of the body, creating suction as a way of stimulating the flow of energy."

In this YouTube video,  Jenny's massage specialist, Ann Rau, demonstrates cupping on Jenny's back. Ann is the owner of Emerge - Vitality, Healing, and Movement Center.

Jenny and Ann took some pictures of what cupping looks like up close.

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