Michael Phelps does cupping — is it something worth paying for?

When Gwyneth Paltrow and Justin Bieber showed off purple, bruise-like dots on their bodies, people laughed.

But now Michael Phelps is in the spotlight with purple dots of his own, and the fitness world is on fire.

“Cupping is a really interesting phenomenon,” said Timothy Caulfield, the Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy and professor at the University of Alberta School of Public Health. “This seems like it’s the cupping Olympics, with Phelps being the most obvious example.”

Traditional cupping therapy is a Chinese practice of sucking skin away from the muscles underneath to stimulate blood flow.

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