The dark circles on Michael Phelps' shoulder have really caught the attention of the mainstream media. They are the result of Cupping Therapy, a technique that we incorporate into acupuncture sessions for sports injuries and muscle aches.
Glass or plastic cups are placed over areas with stagnation. Air is pumped out of the cups creating a suction. The suction releases stagnant blood and energy to the surface creating a bruise. The result is typically immediate relief of the ache. Its amazing! And those hickies typically disappear in a few days. What's extra amazing is, if you cup an area without stagnation, no bruise will appear!