If you're watching the Olympic Games this year, you may have noticed several athletes(especially swimmers) with big, dark, red circles on their backs and shoulders. Here's why.

The circles are leftover marks from 'cupping' or 'fire cupping,' a technique from China and Egypt that is supposed to help with blood flow and stimulate muscles. It also has claims that it sucks toxins and 'negative energy' right out of the body.

Al Bello, Getty Images

In fact, this is not just exclusive to Olympic athletes. There are several places right here in Central New York that offer cupping therapy as part of massage packages.

Our very own Archie has had cupping done himself and loved it.

Here's his account:

"I got a massage a few years ago and the therapist asked if I would like to try cupping. She had just began to offer the service and told me I could try it for free. WOW! It was like adding a boost of pure happiness and energy to my massage. Afterwards I felt more energetic and just plain positive than I had in months! I have done it again since and would definitely recommend it!"

Archie, TSM

As for the dark circles left behind?

"They didn't hurt at all, and they disappeared within a day or two. My massage therapist also told me that a longer massage before cupping will loosen up your muscles, making the circles less scary-looking."

Archie, TSM

Here's a video from BuzzFeed explaining the process a little more:

What do you think? Would you try cupping?

MORE: Watch USA Men's Basketball Sing Karaoke