Widely considered one of the greatest athletes ever — as well as the most successful stoner in history — Michael Phelps just won his 19th Olympic gold medal at the 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He’s the most decorated Olympian of all time and he’s on his way to adding even more medals to his collection.
In a lot of ways, Phelps’ recent victories have resembled his previous ones. He’s still in top athletic form, he’s still dominating the sport, but there’s a notable difference in his appearance.
At the 2016 Olympic Games, Michael Phelps’ body was covered in dark red circles — circles that were caused by cupping therapy. For the uninitiated, cupping therapy is an ancient practice that mobilizes blood by placing cups on a person’s bare skin. In most practices, the cups are then heated, which results in suction-like effect.
Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, writes, “People receiving cupping therapy often comment that it feels like they just received a deep tissue massage. In traditional Chinese medicine, cupping was frequently used to relieve respiratory congestion by using cups across the chest.”
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Phelps is a fan of this method of massage therapy, since he has clearly been a supporter of alternative medicine for much of his career. Having been notoriously and unjustly attacked for smoking marijuana back in 2009, it’s apparent that the champion swimmer takes his health very seriously — and seemingly avoids unnatural solutions to health woes.
But with Phelps looking as sharp as ever at the ripe age of 31, many have questioned how much his adopting of cupping therapy has contributed to his recent successes. He’s always been an absolute machine in the water, so it’s difficult to know for sure, but Phelps knows his body better than any of us. So if he swears by cupping, perhaps it’s time for the rest of the world to get on board as well.