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What Are the Red Dots on Olympians? Learn About Cupping!

What Are the Red Dots on Olympians? Learn About Cupping!

Something that you might have noticed while watching the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics coverage is that several athletes have large red dots on their bodies.

U.S. stars like Michael Phelps and gymnast Alex Naddour have both been seen during competition with the marks on their bodies and it’s from cupping.

The cupping process uses suction cups that pull the skin away from the muscles for a few minutes to let capillaries just under the skin rupture, which creates the bruise-like marks. Cupping will bring blood to sore areas of the body and make the healing process work faster.

“Because this particular recovery modality shows blemishes on his skin, he walks around and looks like a Dalmation or a really bad tattoo sleeve,” Michael‘s trainer Keenan Robinson told the New York Times. “It’s just another recovery modality. There’s nothing really particularly special about it.”

“I’ve done it before meets, pretty much every meet I go to,” Michael told the paper. “So I asked for a little cupping yesterday because I was sore and the trainer hit me pretty hard and left a couple of bruises.”

See a photo of Michael getting the procedure done below!

A photo posted by Michael Phelps (@m_phelps00) on

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