We have Michael Phelps and his 2016 Olympic swan song to thank for this one. Those purple welts he famously sported on his back and shoulders had everyone Googling “cupping” and wondering if the ancient Chinese practice, which increases blood flow by using suction cups to lift the skin away from underlying fascia, might help with their aches and pains.
Instead: Dust off your foam roller and use a basic self-myofascial release technique (find a tender spot and apply pressure for 30–60 seconds) to break up knots and relieve pain. Because, unless you’re a record-setting Olympian or captain of the Junior High basketball team, hickeys just aren’t cool.
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