Kim Kardashian Tries Cupping For Pain Relief, Just Like Olympian Michael Phelps

After Michael Phelps was outed as a cupper, I wasn’t sure what to think. I’m not going to lie here — I skipped the “Phelps in Rio cupping” headlines because it sounded vaguely like something his speedo was doing (I know, my mind is always in the gutter). But when I learned Kim Kardashian tried cupping for the first time, I was confused enough to want to know more.

When Phelps was spotted at the Olympics in Rio with big purple spots all over his back, the world was intrigued. Maybe you’re smarter than I am and know that cupping is an ancient Chinese “myofascial decompression” method that’s supposed to relieve back pain. It works like this: you basically stick cups all over and suction them to your body. It creates a vacuum, you remove them, and apparently the blood is moved around and you just feel better.

Kardashian tried it for the first time Monday night from the comfort of her own bed and Snapchatted the entire experience, which also included an acupuncture session, because she is a boss and can just order that kind of shit like most people order greasy food for dinner. So did it work or nah? It sounds like we’ll have to wait for her next Snapchat story to find out.

Kardashian and Phelps aren’t the only ones hip to this thing. Apparently Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Anniston have been rocking the purple spots for ages, because of course Paltrow cups, right after she steams her vagina, I’m assuming. People magazine reports that cupping “can be used on anyone, really, from Olympic athletes to a 59-year-old desk worker with back pain and stiffness,” according to Michael Mancuso, a physical therapist in New York City.

It’s supposed to be good for inflammation, which is why Kardashian expects it to help with neck and back pain. Phelps and other athletes are using it like a massage before stressing their bodies, to “warm up the muscles before an event, or to release tension afterwards,” according to Mancuso. But according to Vogue, it’s like “being attacked by a Hoover” because it’s not peaceful — you light a match under the cups to get them to stick and sit with them on your body for 20 minutes. Maybe that’s why Phelps looked so miserable Monday night at the Games. Cupping: not for rookies.