The cupping trend has been popular with celebrities and Olympic athletes, so it is unsurprising that elite chemists have turned the the technique to perfect their laboratory and communication skills. A few years ago, Professor Phil Baran of the Scripps Research Institute posted a photo on Instagram showing his biceps covered with 8 clear cups and a postdoc using a heat gun to warm another cup prior to placing it on the skin.
Rumors suggest that graduate students and postdoctoral fellows have been using cupping to improve circulation to the head before oral examinations, and some have claimed cupping increases the steadiness of their hands for TLC spotting.
“We know that science says it isn’t detrimental,” Dr. Mehmet Mercola said. “We know that science says it does in some cases help out, like taking virgin coconut oil to prevent heart disease or drinking lemon juice to increase your body's alkalinity. So we’re at least going to expose young chemists to it years out so they can get into a routine. The pain is worth it - kind of like graduate school.”
(written with a co-author)
(with vague apologies to this overly credulous NYT article)