Alternative Medicine At The Olympics

Greetings and Salutations;

The 2016 Summer Olympic Games are in full swing this week.   There have been the usual mix of tragedy and injury,  and some truly amazing performances.   However,  what I really want to address here is the interesting twist that apparently a fair number of U.S. Swimmers and Gymnasts have taken up the fad of “Cupping”  to help them deal with the physical stresses and discomforts  that always come when one is pushing one’s body beyond its limits.    This treatment has been around for thousands of years,  and,  as with most Alternative Medicines,  has a number of practitioners who have made some pretty amazing claims for it.   As the above link indicates,  while there may be some benefits to it,  especially in conjunction with other treatments,   there have been no truly objective and large tests to separate the reality from the “Woo”.    
However,  the athletes showing up covered with large,  red bruises  did bring up some questions  in the media reporting on the games, and the bubbling brew of chaos that are the Social Networks.    One exchange that caught my eye was this one:
Margo  They look like giant hickeys!
Michael Bruising indicates damage. I prefer gentler therapies to increase blood flow!
Bonnie It’s not really bruising, Michael. It’s exteriorizing stagnant blood that has penetrated into the intermediate fascial layers where it can potentially cause inflammation and adhesions.
Now,  the first reaction I had to this exchange was “Hum…but,  Bonnie’s explanation sounds pretty much like the definition of a bruise,  with some questionable opinions about the flow of blood in the body mixed in to season the dish”.    I did ask about this,  but, alas, received no answer.  I will not bother to go into the details here,   but, to me,  this is “Woo!”   that has no merit beyond that of the Placebo Effect.    That having been said,  it also appears that it has no serious down-sides,  so,  if it gives our athletes the mental edge to push themselves to take a medal…good for them.
I do have one concern though.   That is the worry that people will leap on this as a cure for all ills,  and so will flock to practitioners who are less ethical, who will take their cash,  and perhaps deflect them from Western Medicine treatments that would actually do some measureable good.  
The Cyber-Ocean is deep,  and huge,  so interesting information can be found in it  with sufficient searching.    Above,  I say that Cupping seems to not have any serious down sides.  While I am still of this opinion,  in the interest of fairness,   I thought I would post this article that drifted by me.   The process is NOT without dangers…   Wounds Caused By Cupping
Pleasant Dreams
Bee Man Dave

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