The Olympics & Cupping: How to Win Gold in Pain Relief

7710536-3x2-700x467.jpg We’ve all seen the hype around cupping as a result of the Olympic athletes at the 2016 Rio games. Especially 23x gold medal winner Michael Phelps. So why are all these elite athletes turning to this ancient therapy? Because it works! That’s why! And because the benefits greatly outweigh the marks that it leaves behind.

What is Cupping? Cupping is an ancient modality which uses a flame to remove the oxygen from the inside of a glass cup which then forms a suction when placed on the body. Healthy capillaries, or tiny little blood vessels, should be flexible enough that they can withstand this suction. However, when they are unhealthy this suction causes them to burst, bringing those dead red blood cells to the surface (“bruising”/cupping marks) and thus allowing fresh, healthy blood to flow through those vessels and nourish the muscles. In Chinese Medicine pain is essentially stagnation: Qi and/or blood that are stuck or not moving. So when you see those cupping marks what you’re actually seeing is pain leaving the body. How cool is that?!

Cupping works almost instantly for promoting circulation, releasing knots and myofascial adhesions, opening the pores & relieving toxins, regulating the nervous system and therefore leading to improved muscle function, reduction in pain, and faster recovery time. You don’t have to be an Olympic athlete to experience the benefits of cupping, but it sure doesn’t hurt to follow their lead!



Tom Kha Gai Recipe

I recently did the whole 30 and although it is VERY restricting and not necessarily fitting with my lifestyle on a day to day basis, I did learn lots of great recipes that I thought I would share! I’m a total lover of soup so thought I would start out with one of my favorites: Tom Kha Gai, or Thai Chicken Coconut Soup. image1-14


1 can coconut milk

1 can chicken broth

6 slices of fresh ginger

1 stalk lemongrass

1lb chicken breast in 1in chunks or sliced very thinly

1 cup sliced mushrooms

fresh lime

1 tablespoon of Thai fish sauce

fresh basil


STEP 1: combine the coconut milk, broth, ginger, lemongrass (outer later removed and cut into pieces) and bring to a boil. Strain ginger and lemongrass.

STEP 2: Add chicken, mushrooms, lime juice, fish sauce. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked (5-10 minutes).


In Eastern Dietary Therapy, chicken is supplements the Qi and blood, invigorates the kidneys, helps with poor appetite, edema, diarrhea, frequent urination, scanty lactation and fatigue. Coconut engenders fluids, disinhibits urination, treats thirst, severe dehydration after bleeding or severe diarrhea, as well as expels parasites. Mushrooms open the stomach, rectifies the Qi, transforms phlegm, quiets the spirit, resolves toxins, out-thrusts rashes, stops vomiting and diarrhea, treats late stage heat disease (body fatigue, weakness, no eating, dry mouth) and can also treat pediatric measles rash.

So simple. So good. And good for you!