The benefits of cupping include local pain relief and muscle relaxation. Cupping improves overall health by removing the energy blockages that Unani practitioners identify as barriers to the flow of healthy energy or qi. For athletes, cupping may help increase blood flow to a particular muscle region or help reduce pain. Numerous athletes from the Olympics in Rio 2016 used cupping. This was easily seen by circular markings on some of the U.S. swim team members.