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

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Join the Hive!

Featured Stings

Do academia and banks favour a new Middle Ages period?

What the world will look like after the Iran and 5+1 deal; the US emerges as major power broker in Middle East

Impressive African health gains at risk from changing trends: WHO report

Τhe EU Refugee Crisis: a day in the life of a Refugee in Greece

Lithuania should find its own way in the EU

ECB embarks on the risky trip to Eurozone banking universe

Senior UN children’s advocate says they ‘should never be targeted by violence’

RescEU: MEPs vote to upgrade EU civil protection capacity

‘Habitual residence’ rules deprive EU workers from social benefits

Is this the way to finally beat corruption?

Three ways the Fourth Industrial Revolution is shaping geopolitics

Why the World Cup is a bit like international trade

Security Council downsizes AU-UN mission in Darfur, eying eventual exit

iSting: a reader’s thoughts on the UN Environment Assembly 2017

UN says ‘many humanitarian achievements’, one year after ouster of ISIL from Mosul

Scotland and First Minister Salmond enter the most challenging battlefield for independence: Europe

One in three fish caught never gets eaten

Europe turns out more jobs this summer

5 charts that explain big challenges facing Italy’s new government

The cost of healthcare is rising in ASEAN. How can nations get the most for their money?

Technological innovation can bolster trust and security at international borders. Here’s how

What options the new President of Ukraine has?

Will Western Balkans respond positively to EU initiatives?

A Sting Exclusive: “Delivering on the Environmental Dimension of the new Sustainable Development Agenda”, Ulf Björnholm underscores from UNEP Brussels

Chart of the day: This is what violence does to a nation’s GDP

Can the Americans alone determine the future of Syria?

Brexit Update: EU endorses unprecedented compromise to help Cameron out of the referendum mess he got himself into

Russia and the West to partition Ukraine?

Bram in Colombia

Commission’s Youth Initiative fails first hurdle by not sufficiently consulting young people

Five years down the drain

The Brussels bureaucracy blocks the Youth Guarantee scheme

“Fortress Europe”, “Pegida” and its laughing stocks

Unlock the value proposition for Connected Insurance

The Brits are not an exception and that’s why they voted to leave

Crimean crisis: not enough to slow down European indices

My Mothers

Germany readies to pay for the Brexit gap in EU finance

EU Commission announces Safe Harbour 2.0 and a wider Data protection reform

Fostering global citizenship in medicine

Yanis Varoufakis: “Unsustainable debt turns the creditor into Leviathan; Life under it is becoming nasty, brutish and short”

Germany to help China in trade disputes with Brussels

Here’s how data could make our cities safer

Bugged Europe accepts US demands and blocks Morales plane

The banks first to benefit from the new euro trillion ECB plans to print

Zuckerberg preaches that Artificial Intelligence will protect Data Privacy in Facebook whereas Verhofstadt demands the big European state to take charge

A Sting Exclusive: “Youth voice must be heard in climate change negotiations!”, Bérénice Jond Board Member of European Youth Forum demands from Brussels

‘Laser-sharp focus’ needed to achieve Global Goals by 2030, UN political forum told

A few, or rather two, trade and economic alliances may rule our brave new world

Alexandre in Czech Republic

These countries are all building brand-new cities

EU accused of being too nice with Gazprom in the infamous antitrust case

Parliament: Last compromise on bank single resolution mechanism

Lack of investment and ambition means Youth Guarantee not reaching potential

Top UN political official updates Security Council on Iran nuclear deal

Debunked: 5 myths about the future of work

European Business Summit 2014: The role of youth entrepreneurship education in EU’s Strategy for Competitiveness

A day in the life of a Rohingya refugee

EU opens a third antitrust file against Google

EU budget: Will Germany alone manage Britain’s gap?

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