Skip to main content

Could cupping accelerate your recovery from injury?

What is it?
FFT’s body is a temple, so we decided to sample a recovery treatment that’s proving a hit with some of the game’s biggest stars. Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine, which dates back to 1550B.C., when it emerged in Egyptian, Chinese and Middle Eastern cultures.

How does it work?
We were asked to strip down to our boxer shorts and lie face down on a massage table. Fifteen glass cups, with a wick inside each one, were lit and then placed on our back as the flame died out for a period of 10 minutes. The heat creates a vacuum, which forces the skin to rise and red marks to form as blood vessels expand.

Who uses it?
Cupping has been around for centuries, but it is currently enjoying a renaissance thanks to its popularity amongst various sports stars and celebrities. Barcelona and Brazil star Neymar was recently pictured undergoing the treatment, while Anthony Joshua and swimmer Michael Phelps are also fans. And us, of course.

Why are they using it?
Cupping is meant to accelerate the recovery of the injured area of the body by increasing blood flow to the skin under which the cups are placed. Other supposed benefits of the treatment include relief of skin complaints like acne, and symptoms of depression – but there is no science to back it up.

How much does it cost?
You don’t have to part with too much cash to get the A-List treatment. The price varies dependant on the practice you visit and session duration. A 10-minute treatment cost FFT £15, but 30-minutes at a swanky facility could set you back about £50. Is it worth it? We reckon a hot bath would do the same job.