Jessica Simpson Found A Remedy For Her Swollen Ankles

Jessica Simpson -- who is expecting her third child -- has tried the ancient practice of cupping to soothe and deflate her ankles.

The singer and TV star has been sharing her pregnancy journey with Instagram fans and uploaded a photo last week of her inflamed feet.

"Any remedies?!" she asked her followers. "Help!!!!"

Simpson was inundated with advice from women around the world, with many concerned that she could be experiencing pre-eclampsia, a condition characterised by high blood pressure.

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The pop star has now seemed to have found some relief, posting a photo of her foot looking markedly reduced in size, covered with three glass suction cups, captioning the post, "Cupping".

What Is Cupping?

The practice of cupping has been used by celebrities including Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Lady Gaga and involves using small heated glass cups to create a vacuum on the skin, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The ancient Chinese remedy is believed to open up the skin's pores, which "helps to stimulate the flow of blood...breaks up obstructions and creates an avenue for toxins to be drawn out of the body," according to Acupuncture Today.

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The remedy is often used by athletes -- including Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps -- to reduce soreness and heal overworked muscles and usually leaves behind temporary dark circles on the body.

There are also two types of cupping -- wet and dry. According to medical Professor Edzard Ernst from the University of Exeter, wet cupping involves "causing a superficial injury to the skin and applying a cup over the injured site".

"Wet cupping is painful and carries a risk of infection. By contrast, dry cupping is harmless and almost painless -- when done correctly," Prof. Ernst wrote on The Conversation.

Is It Safe For Pregnant Women?

While cupping is commonly used by athletes, is it safe for women expecting a baby? Plenty of Simpson's Instagram followers were quick to ask the star whether the practice was a good idea during pregnancy.

A study published in the Medical Journal of Australia in 2017 found that burn-related injuries are one of the risks involved with cupping therapy.

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“As the therapy involves heat, burns can be an unintended consequence, especially if not performed correctly or by a registered practitioner,” Dr Marc Seifman, the lead researcher said.

Dr Seifman is a plastic surgeon who worked at the Victorian Adult Burns Service at The Alfred Hospital added that “anyone considering this form of therapy should be mindful of the risk associated with cupping.”

According to Healthline, side effects can also include dizziness, nausea, sweating, scarring of the skin and hematoma (bruising).

Pregnant women are advised against receiving cupping on their backs and abdomen -- and to avoid the practice altogether after the sixth-month mark of pregnancy.

While Simpson hasn't let followers know if she consulted a doctor before she underwent cupping therapy -- pregnant women should always seek the advice of their obstetrician/gynecologist before undergoing any type of treatment. 

Main Image: Instagram.