Hickeys and Cupping: They Suck

Image courtesy of sciencebasedmedicine.org
Image courtesy of sciencebasedmedicine.org

Listen, kids–don’t give each other hickeys. Hickeys are dumb. They make you look trashy. And when you’re proud of them, you’re showing exactly how much of a child you are.

Listen, athletes–that thing you’re doing with suction cups that leave bruises? Cupping? Yeah, they’re dumb too. If you’re getting anything from it, it’s the placebo effect.

The history of cupping is tied to the history of bloodletting. Can you say bloodletting, boys and girls? You either cut an incision into the flesh to let blood flow out or you apply leeches to suck the blood. This was based on the ancient “medical” belief that blood was one of the “humors,” which had to be balanced in order for an individual to be healthy.

I doubt I need to get into the history of hickeys.

Today, people are using cupping as a way to relieve muscle soreness from athletic activity. Supposedly, the vacuum it creates pulls skin away from blood vessels to promote better blood flow. Some sources say that it also helps remove toxins and excess “heat.”

My friends, we’ve talked about the toxins issue in the past. The only way to rid your body of toxins is to allow it to do it on its own; there’s nothing you can do to improve the process, nor should you try. And if you want to remove heat from your body, you have to be in contact with something cold. That’s just simple physics.

Cupping is pseudoscience. There is no evidence that supports its effectiveness. Sure, it has been suggested that it assists in pain relief, but that is easily explained by the placebo effect.

But what harm could it do to just try it, you ask? I’ll tell you. Remember the 17 year old Mexican boy who died after his girlfriend gave him a hickey? Doctors agree that the hickey resulted in a blood clot that traveled to the boy’s brain and gave him a stroke. While this kind of thing is by no means common, it is a slight risk. And think of cupping as getting about ten hickeys at once.

And it looks terrible.

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