About the Cups I Use

If I’ve had the honor of massaging you, there is a pretty good chance you have experienced Cupping Massage!

Cupping Massage is different than Traditional Chinese Medicine Cups, where TCM Specialists and Acupuncturists use fire to create a vacuum inside a glass cup, targeting specific points along the Meridians of the body where there is stagnation or stuck Chi.  You may get purple spots on your skin that look like you were attached by an octopus… The more purple the spots, the more stagnations was in that acupoint, and hopefully it has released so the chi can flow more freely now.

NOT a picture of Cheri, or her cupping style.

Cupping Massage, Cheri-Style, is using silicone and/or plastic cups that use a manual vacuum, by pressing out the air and allowing the lack of space in the cup to lift the lubricated skin and underlying layers of connective tissue into the space inside the cup. The cup is then slid over different areas looking for “stuck” spots, that don’t slide as smoothly, or feel matted together.

These layers are not getting the proper oxygen and nutrients, or fluid movement that they could. The skin can turn slightly red, like a sunburn *without the pain* and sometimes purple spots can occur in areas where the cup is left stationary, but the pull is less than that of the glass cups, so the marks usually fade within a day or so.

Normal Massage uses positive pressure (picture your skin as the x-axis, or the zero line) as your massage therapist sinks down into your skin, that is positive pressure. In my mind I am looking for bones and bony landmarks, as well as evaluating the resistance of the muscles. (muscle tissue sinks right in, so when it doesn’t, that area tells me to stay in this area to soften the musculature and connective tissue.)

The cups lift the skin and the connective tissue up and away from the bones, creating negative pressure.


This lifts the superficial fascia (the layer between the skin & the muscles– also the space acupuncture needles target) creating a different kind of sensation for the brain and the nervous system!

The cups soften the most superficial layers of muscles, which act like a protective barrier to the underlying structures, that are the true issue-creators.

Cups help your therapist drop in to the deeper layers with less of a fight, and less soreness for the client the next day.

Yes, pain can be productive, the right kind of pain, in the right places. But you don’t need to be bruised and sore the next day to really feel the “effect.” (IF that’s your cup of tea, rock on! I’ll drop it on you if you want it… just know there are other ways of being effective, and physically forcing the muscles to release contractions can be counterproductive… but I’m not inside your body, and if you want to feel it, communicate to me when you need more and I do my best to accommodate your needs!)

A little known fact is that “Deep Tissue” means working the deeper muscles, the ones that are closest to the bone… it doesn’t mean “Pain.” A good therapist will slink and swim down to the deepest layers with out you realizing it… Or causing you to be in excruciating pain… which in turn makes other body parts (usually ones we’ve just gotten to relax to tighten up again… do you see my pressure dilemma? >_<

But back to the cups… They take your nervous system into Rest & Digest and warm up the superficial layers faster than just manual massage alone. It’s a beautiful compliment to an already relaxing therapeutic & awesome experience.

I love feed back about the cups! Do you feel like it enhanced the massage? Did you get more relief from the massage with use of the cups compared to a non-cupping massage? Thanks for taking the time to read this!

They are not hard to use, in-fact if you’d like to purchase a set, I can teach you and your significant other how to use them on each other and on yourselves! This was my first form of self-massage/care for my hard-worked muscles!

We don’t always have time or resources to get to a massage therapist when we hurt, but that doesn’t mean we need to stay in pain… Let’s empower you to bring the relief off the table and into your hands!

For a full cupping experience (Locations & Pricing)

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Tuesdays, Thursdays & Fridays 11:30-4pm @ the Newtown Yoga Center

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Cheri Tabone
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