Michael Phelps has red circles on his back from cupping therapy – Business Insider
Michael Phelps will swim his first event of the Rio Olympics on Sunday night, and he’ll do it with noticeable red circle marks splayed all across his back.
If you’ve watched any of the Olympics so far, you’ve likely seen similar spots on other athletes, including some American male gymnasts. The marks are the result of cupping therapy, a healing technique that’s particularly en vogue at the moment among Olympians.
As NBC explained:
Basically, cupping involves a cup attached to a pump. Athletes put the cup on their skin and create suction with the pump. Some say the technique increases blood flow and helps a person’s sore muscles heal.
The spots are bruises from the cups, and can apparently last up to two or three weeks.