ENC acupuncturist explains cupping therapy seen at the Olympics

Olympic legend Michael Phelps is cleaning up gold medal after gold medal in Rio, but it's not just his swimming that has people talking.

He also garnered a lot of attention when he showed up in the pool with purple marks on his body, apparently the result of cupping therapy.

The Chinese healing practice is available from acupuncturists in eastern Carolina.

Vivian Manduca-Marquez, acupuncturist in Jacksonville, says, "Cupping goes back to many, many moons ago. It's not only found on the Chinese culture, it's also found in Italy, in Greece, in South America, in many countries."

Manduca-Marquez has practiced cupping therapy for 20 years and says 85% of her customers in Jacksonville use the cupping method, sometimes in conjunction with acupuncture.

While Phelps uses the cupping technique to relieve soreness and heal his muscles, Manduca-Marquez says it has many other benefits.

She says, "It's used for pain. It's used for colds, bronchitis, and also for fertility issues.

Some other Olympic athletes are also receiving cupping therapy, but some experts say there has not been enough research done on the practice.