Do treatments like cupping and acupuncture actually help athletes? w/Dr. Teddy Willsey DPT

Ever since Michael Phelps won Olympic gold medals for swimming looking like his back had been attacked by a giant octopus, athletes have been having suction cups stuck to their bodies. Long before that people had tiny needles stuck all over them. Do these “treatment” actually do anything? If they help, are they a short-term fix or do the results linger?

We asked Dr. Teddy Willsey DPT for his insight. Dr. Willsey, is a co-founder of Citizen Athletics, a doctor of physical therapy, a strength and conditioning coach, movement enthusiast, and operator of Healthy Baller Physical Therapy in Washington, D.C. He has extensive experience in working with real athletes.

Here are some of our thoughts:

  • What is cupping and what is it trying to accomplish?
  • Does it make any real difference in muscle tissue quality?
  • Is cupping something you can do to yourself?
  • What does acupuncture really do?
  • Is dry needling the same thing as acupuncture?
  • What about other similar strategies like ice water-filled, automated compression boots and sleeves like Game Ready?

You can find Dr. Willsey on Instagram @strengthcoachtherapy, on his website citizensathletics.com.

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