The American Team Is “Cupping” Vol. 3 / No. 41.1

Photo: Amy Selleck, CC BY 2.0

And in the files of things so nuts I can’t believe I’m typing it, many of the US athletes at the 2016 Olympics in Rio are “cupping” — they’re letting quacks put hot cups on their backs and shoulders which, when they cool, give them huge round hickeys. Supposedly it’s to help with their muscle soreness and get them competing in top form more quickly, but there’s both no evidence it works for anything (other than bursting capillaries) and honestly no reason it should work, either. If they want to spend their money on it, fine, but I’m with the Friendly Atheist on this one: “The biggest concern I have is that other people, who watch the athletes on TV, will spend lots of money to receive cupping treatments themselves. They’ll think there’s real power in the treatment. There isn’t. It’s a waste of cash.

Here’s Orac’s take on the practice.

Happy Monday, everyone.


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Richard Ford Burley is a human, writer, and doctoral candidate at Boston College, as well as an editor at Ledger, the first academic journal devoted to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. In his spare time he writes about science, skepticism, feminism, and futurism here at This Week In Tomorrow.