Olympic-Style Cupping Therapy in Lisbon, Portugal

If you're an Olympic Games fan you must have already noticed the perfectly round bruises some athletes have been showing on their back. Although, at first, it might seem a bit aggressive, this is a very efficient therapy called cupping. It's a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) technique that has been in use for millennia. It reduces pain from tired and sore muscles bringing a deep sense of relaxation. The only side effects are the bruises but only if you're worried about what other people might think. Because, besides the looks, it's completely painless. They happen due to the technique itself: a suction process with special cups placed in specific acupuncture points.

Fortunately, this practice is not only for high-performance athletes. Everybody can benefit from it. In fact, it can be a very nice way to finish a day after walking up and down Lisbon's seven hills. In case you get tempted, here are some places where you can find the best professionals to leave you ready to run the marathon:

Ângela Plácido
Address: Rua Rodrigues Sampaio, n. 21 - 3B
T: +351 912 277 656
Right in the city center, very close to Marquês de Pombal, this small and very discreet clinic is a kind of paradise. But don't expect to find exotic decorations, incense sticks burning or people with oriental inspired uniforms. Ângela is above all a practical therapist, completely focused on the best approach to each person that asks her help. So, a consult with her offers you more than simple cupping, she'll give you a complete Chinese Medicine diagnosis with a list of useful advises you can take home with you. Furthermore, Ângela has an overflowing joy making it difficult for anyone not to leave not only more relaxed but also in a much better mood.

SP Clinic
Address: Rua D. João V, n. 15C
T: +351 210 993 179
A larger clinic, also right in the heart of Lisbon. SP Clinic offers a wide variety of services as far as health and well-being is concerned. If you choose to go there, make sure you ask for Douglas, a very efficient therapist with a special talent in alleviating pain and soreness. Cupping is performed along with Tui Na, another TCM technique using massage to dissolve muscle tension and soreness. This combination offers a deep sense of relaxation. You'll leave believing that instead of walking, you levitate.

Address: Rua D: Estefânia, 175
T: + 351 213 475 605
ESMTC is not only a place to go and have a treatment. It is also the place to learn it if you wish to know more. Plus it's a beautiful historical palace. At this TCM School you'll find a few courses around the different TCM therapies like Tui Na, Chi Kung or Tai Chi and also a TCM 5 year graduation. The clinic is opened only in the afternoons and the therapies are performed by a trainee-therapist under the supervision of a teacher, of course.

Silvia is a writer and a traveller born and raised in Lisbon. Although her journeys have been taking her a bit everywhere in the world, Lisbon is the city where she always return to unveil and write about its never ending wonders.

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