If you've been watching this years Summer Olympics you might have caught a glimpse of US athletes Michael Phelps, Alex Naddour, and Townley Haas and asked yourself "Why are they so bruised?". Those round bruises are actually the result of a therapy known as cupping, a practice commonly used in New Haven Chiropractic & Sports Rehabilitation. When cupping is performed the practitioner will place specialized cups on a specific site of the skin. Heat or an air pump is then used to create a vacuum within these specialized cups. This causes the skin to pull upward away from the underlying muscles. This vacuum sensation helps increase circulation and blood flow to the area to help reduce muscle pain and soreness as well as speeds up the recovery of overworked muscles. Cupping can be known to leave bruises but is a great way to treat muscle pain, soreness and tightness, and to help increase circulation to an area to help an athelete perform better!