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@NBCOlympics, stop promoting "Cupping" as a valid therapy

This petition had 866 supporters


Throughout the broadcasts of the 2016 Rio Olympics, NBC commentators have been asking the question "What are those red spots on the athletes?" and then answering: It's "Cupping", an ancient Chinese therapy to help muscles recover.

Cupping is not a medical therapy. It is pure pseudoscience that is at best worthless, and at worst dangerous. We, the undersigned, call upon NBC to report on this responsibly, and stop advising viewers that cupping is a valid practice.

Cupping involves the placement of heated glass globes on the skin. As they cool, they create a vacuum, and cause a hickey. This has exactly one effect: it ruptures capillaries in the skin, killing the cells and producing a bruise. Hickeys do not have any therapeutic value whatsoever. The underlying medical claim, that this promotes healing blood flow through the muscles, is without evidence or plausible foundation. 

Many athletes and celebrities believe in cupping because the treatment is nearly always provided in conjunction with a massage. Therapeutic massage does assist in the recovery of sore muscles. It is relaxing and relieves stress. But many customers tend to attribute this relaxation and recovery to the cupping, simply because it is given at the same time. It is an expensive hickey, no more, and consumers are properly advised that it will not provide therapeutic value.

Severe injuries have resulted from cupping when administered dangerously, e.g., repeatedly cupping existing damaged skin producing septic ulcers, and burns from the hot glass. It is all risk with no benefit.

NBC, step up to your position of assumed responsibility, and instruct your Olympics commentators to stop promoting harmful pseudoscience to your viewers.



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