The rise of alternative medical practices in modern sports

Giles_Smith,_Michael_Phelps,_Davis_Tarwater_2012_US_Olympic_Trials

Giles Smith, University of Arizona – Michael Phelps, North Baltimore Aquatic Club –  Davis Tarwater, SwimMAC Caroline – USA Swimming, 2012 Olympic Team Trials – Swimming – CenturyLink Center Omaha, Nebraska, June 30 2012. By Aringo CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0), via Wikimedia Commons

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by one of our passionate writers, Mrs Rachael Everly. The opinions expressed within reflect only the writer’s views and not The European Sting’s position on the issue.

Years ago the world was mired in how safe and effective acupuncture was and how it should be treated. Should it be regulated like mainstream medicines, making practitioners attend a proper training and education before being allowed to practice and who could define proper and adequate “training” in a field which had very little scientific research done on it?

However those who used acupuncture for pain-management were swayed by it and there were conclusive reports of its effectiveness as a pain-management tool. Public opinion was more positive regarding acupuncture when athletes adopted it to deal with issues like back-pain. Now athletes have brought another centuries old alternative medical practice up in the spotlight – Cupping Therapy.

The emergence of cupping therapy in the Olympics

A number of Olympians, including the legendary Michael Phelps have been photographed with red circles on their skAin. These red circles are the sign of cupping therapy.

Swimmers and gymnasts were among those particularly who had signs of cupping therapy.

So what exactly is cupping therapy? There are two ways this is carried out. The more popular form is that a glass cup is place on the body and suction is created by using a hand pump making the glass stick to the body and pulling the skin away. This promotes blood flow.

The effectiveness of Cupping

Athletes say that cupping helps to ease the pains resulting from constant training and also improve their recovery time.  Alex Naddour from the US gymnastics team said that he “swears by it”.  Coming from a professional athlete this is quite the testament of effectiveness.  He adds that he has tried other recovery techniques like sports massages, sauna, ice bath and compression garments but Cupping had the best results.

Practitioners of cupping therapy solidly advocate its effectiveness. And to be honest this has been a practice that has been thriving for over 3,000 years. Having talked about practitioners’ and patients’ point of view, it is impertinent we talk about what the medical science community has to say about the cupping therapy. The medical science community has not yet undertaken studies to prove its effectiveness or otherwise. There have been no clinical trials.

And it is not just the athletes that have pushed cupping therapy into the spotlight. Many actors and actresses over the years have resorted to cupping therapy. Names include A-listers like Jennifer Anniston, Gwyneth Paltrow, Victoria Beckham, Justin Bieber and Lionel Richie.

Is it being regulated?

After the Rio Olympics 2016 cupping therapy is going to surge in popularity. After all if ideals of peak physical conditioning are advocating it, the common man is going to try it. While there is no harm in trying, it is after all a medical practice and has to be carried out as such ensuring that the patient does not come to harm because of negligence by the practitioner.

In the UK this form of therapy is very popular. Thus there have been calls to regulate it, ensuring that practitioners are sufficiently skilled and trained to carry out a medical procedure.  At the moment there are no rules to govern the practice anyone can set themselves as a practitioner. Some Local authorities in the UK have however stepped up and made it mandatory that clinics offering cupping therapy services register with them.

The future of cupping therapy 

Even before the Rio Olympics people had been using cupping therapy and there is a mainly positive sentiment amongst its users. What should be done is that there should be basic regulations drafted for cupping therapy practitioners, ensuring that essential requirements like hygiene are met and we do not have the same debacle as we had with acupuncture practitioners who were operating out of dingy apartments and re-using needles raising the risk of blood-borne diseases from spreading.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Join the Hive!

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Brexit: MEPs concerned over reported UK registration plans for EU27 citizens

These are the top 10 emerging technologies of 2019

Youth for Climate Change

UN chief urges Hamas and Israel to ‘step back from the brink of another devastating conflict’ in Gaza

Bangladesh: Head of UN refugee agency calls on Asia-Pacific leaders to show ‘solidarity’ with Rohingya refugees

Constitution of the 9th legislature of the European Parliament

Violence on the rise in Darfur following Sudan military takeover, but UN-AU peacekeeping mission maintains ‘robust posture’

Mozambique pledging conference hopes to soften devastating blow of back-to-back cyclones

UN genocide adviser welcomes historic conviction of former Khmer Rouge leaders

Parliaments can be pillars of democracy and defenders of human rights, says UN chief on International Day

Eurozone set to abandon monetary and incomes austerity and adopt growth friendly policies

EU leaders let tax-evaders untouched

South Sudanese refugees need $2.7 billion, as safe return remains elusive

Tobacco-free public space – how is the European law executed in my country?

LGBT community in Chechnya faces ‘new wave of persecution’: UN human rights experts

IMF: The global economy keeps growing except Eurozone

How Finland is fighting fake news – in the classroom

Draghi, Letta: All Eurozone countries must be able to borrow like Germany

5 amazing people fighting to save the oceans

Here are 5 of the biggest threats to our oceans, and how we can solve them

Latest tragedy in the Mediterranean claims over 100 lives – UN refugee agency

These are the benefits of learning a second language

“Joining forces to #BeatPollution”, a Sting Exclusive by the Head of UNEP in Brussels

Yemen: ‘Living hell’ for all children, says UNICEF; Angelia Jolie calls for ‘lasting ceasefire’

Is there a cure for corruption in Greece?

What next for Europe? Three (completely) different Davos views

How will the EU face the migration crisis when the Turkish threats come true?

India’s mega-rich are on the rise

MEPs propose measures to combat mobbing and sexual harassment

The hidden cost of the electric car boom – child labour

At G20 Summit OECD’s Gurría says collective action vital to tackle global challenges

Infringements: Commission adapts its calculation methodology for financial sanctions

Hiring is broken. Here’s how to fix it

Ten reasons to be optimistic in 2019

The Mobile World Congress in Shanghai will take place on 27-29 June 2018

Summer pause gives time to rethink Eurozone’s problems

The influence of the multilateral agreement on migrant health

EU countries invested €5 trillion abroad

UN urges protection of indigenous peoples’ rights during migration

More than four in 10 women, live in fear of refusing partner’s sexual demands, new UN global study finds

Latin America’s cities are ready to take off. But their infrastructure is failing them

Remembering slave trade offers chance to raise awareness, ‘oppose all forms of modern slavery’ – UNESCO

MEPs want ambitious funding for cross-border projects to connect people

The cuts on 2014 Budget will divide deeply the EU

European Accessibility Act: Parliament and Council negotiators strike a deal

Innovating together: connectivity that matters at ITU Telecom World 2019 – in association with The European Sting

Newly-elected Nigerian UN General Assembly President pledges focus on ‘peace and prosperity’ for most vulnerable

The world’s coastal cities are going under. Here’s how some are fighting back

What the buoyant US economy means for the rest of the world

Fail fast, fail better: 3 ways companies can master innovation

Women’s work faces the greatest risk of automation, says new research

UN political chief calls for dialogue to ease tensions in Venezuela; Security Council divided over path to end crisis

Love unlimited

EU’s judicial cooperation arm, Eurojust, to become more effective with new rules

What changes in the EU as from today

The US will impose tariffs on Mexico, says President Trump

New legislation on transparency and sustainability of the EU risk assessment model in the food chain

ECB with an iron hand disciplines the smaller Eurozone member states; latest victim: Greece

EU and Amazon cut deal to end antitrust investigation over e-books deals

ECB will be the catalyst of Eurozone’s reunification

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s