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Is cupping therapy effective among athletes?

February 13, 2018

New Rochelle, NY, February 13, 2018--Swimmer Michael Phelps's continued dominance at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics was accompanied by worldwide awareness of cupping. Cupping therapy has re-emerged as a potential approach to boost post-exercise metabolic recovery, reduce pain, and improve range of motion by increasing local microcirculation. But what does science tell us about the effectiveness or safety of cupping? A new systematic review that examines the results of eleven clinical trials encompassing nearly 500 participants is published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (JACM), a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on JACM website until March 13, 2018.

Romy Lauche, University of Technology (Sydney, Australia) and colleagues from Endeavour College of Natural Health (Fortitude Valley, Australia) and University of Duisburg-Essen (Germany) coauthored the article entitled "Effects of Cupping Therapy in Amateur and Professional Athletes -- Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials." Despite some reports of benefits, including some related to reduced pain and disability, the authors found the reports uneven and found a high risk of bias in the trial designs. They therefore determined that no conclusive recommendations for or against the value of cupping in sports performance can be made until further trials are carried out.

Co-author Lauche states: "Cupping therapy is a classic example in which research lags behind clinical practice. We are confident that this review will point out the need for and encourage further high-quality research of cupping, a therapy which has been around for millennia."

"This systematic review by Lauche and her international team squarely place this therapy in evidence limbo," says JACM Editor-in-Chief John Weeks, johnweeks-integrator.com, Seattle, WA. He adds: "There is evidence here for advocates, evidence for detractors, and evidence for researchers - that we need more of it!"
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About the Journal

The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (JACM) is a monthly peer-reviewed journal published in print and online with open access options that is dedicated to research on paradigm, practice and policy advancing integrative health. Led by John Weeks (johnweeks-integrator.com), the co-founder and past Executive Director of the Academic Collaborative for Integrative Health, JACM publishes human clinical trials, observational studies, systematic reviews and commentary intended to help healthcare professionals, delivery organization leaders, policy-makers and scientists evaluate and integrate therapies into patient care protocols to enhance delivery and payment strategies. Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the JACM website.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Alternative and Complementary Therapies, Medical Acupuncture, and Journal of Medicinal Food. Its biotechnology trade magazine, GEN (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 80 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

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