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Why Are Olympian Athletes Covered In Big Red Holes?

Josh Teal

| Last updated 

Why Are Olympian Athletes Covered In Big Red Holes?

Have you ever watched the Olympics and recognised that some of them have red holes all over their backs and shoulders and said "Wow, hey, slow it down, pause it. Rewind. Did you see them holes on Michael Phelps?"?

You might have done it recently, what, with Rio 2016 and all the rest of it.

There's no conspiracy to it, guys. In fact, it's very boring.


The holes are leftover marks from 'cupping' - a form of therapy where heated cups are placed on the skin.

The heated cups are made using lighting flammable liquid in a glass cup, which is then stuck on the body (usually the back).

As soon as the flame goes out, the temperature-drop creates suction which latches the cups onto your body.


A man getting cupped. Image: Getty

It pulls the skin from the body, which in turn promotes blood flow and leaves red spot remnants.

They stick around for around four days.

Anyhow, atheletes are undergoing cupping therapy to ease the pains they sustain as a result of competition.


I'll be back tomorrow to tell you about acupunctures. Class dismissed.

Words by Josh Teal

Topics: olympics

Josh Teal
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