Friday, December 14, 2018

Salon and Spa Directory Meets First Look Fridays Interview Series: Cupping at Massage SoCal with Paloma Sanders

cupping, Massage SoCal, Paloma Sanders, massage, San Diego, Encinitas, Salon and Spa Directory, First Look Fridays Interview Series, salon, spa, Jamie Allison Sanders
Have you ever tried cupping? And, if not, have you been interested? I did it once before, about 10 years ago, with my acupuncturist in New York. And I honestly loved it, but I just never had the inclination to do it again ... until I discovered Paloma Sanders of Massage SoCal, that is.

For all intents and purposes, cupping involves the placing of glasses or plastic cups on the skin and using heat to create a vacuum, which draws the skin, muscle and fascia up into the cup. Cupping is used to treat a variety of issues, including pain in the neck and shoulders, spinal congestion, digestion, metabolism, migraines, stiff muscles, rheumatism, even cellulite. When all is said and done, cupping is pretty darn amazing!

cupping, Massage SoCal, Paloma Sanders, massage, San Diego, Encinitas, Salon and Spa Directory, First Look Fridays Interview Series, salon, spa, Jamie Allison Sanders
Cups awaiting treatment.

I originally discovered Paloma through one of my favorite Instagrammers, Bianca Smith (AKA @nobswithbs). Bianca did an INCREDIBLE Instagram story and post with Paloma detailing her own experience with cupping, and Paloma also had so many interesting facts about cupping to share, that I -- not even kidding -- IMMEDIATELY booked an appointment. Bianca had a discount code which made an hour-long cupping session only $39, so you'd better believe I jumped on that! (Psst: if you keep reading, you might just see a code from me...)

Massage SoCal is in Encinitas, which is one of the neighborhoods in San Diego. San Diego is a good two hours from LA, so I decided to make a weekend out of it, centered around my visit to Paloma for cupping! (Stay tuned for another blog post about the rest of my weekend.) So I booked my appointment, which, due to the holidays and family visiting, I needed to make for about two months out -- and then I eagerly awaited the day I'd finally meet Paloma and experience the magical cupping I'd seen on Bianca's Instagram.

Well, let me just tell you. Paloma. Is. AWESOME. From the moment I stepped into her cozy studio, housed in an office-like building on a quiet tree-lined street, I was transported into the most calming and relaxing atmosphere I'd experienced in weeks. Paloma is originally from Baton Rouge and has lived in San Diego for five years. She has such a sweet demeanor and instantly puts you at ease, even while you're wondering how dark your cupping marks are going to be or whether it will hurt. And, come on, her last name is Sanders, just like me! How could I NOT like her?

I was definitely curious about how Paloma became interested in her line of work, both in massage and cupping. She told me, "I first became interested in massage during my senior year of high school. I would massage my classmates' and my coworkers' shoulders often. One day, one of my coworkers mentioned to me that I should be a massage therapist because I was really good at it. At that time I wasn't ready to go to the traditional four-year school after graduating high school. I looked into doing massage and that's where I've been ever since." I was also curious about how Paloma became interested in cupping, to which she told me:

"I learned a little about cupping therapy in massage school and was very intrigued by it. I loved how it was something different than I had ever seen at the time. A therapist was using a tool to help relieve pain and relax muscles in the body instead of using their own hands. After starting my own business in San Diego, I knew I wanted to add something to my resume that was different. I wanted to offer my clients more than just a massage, because Southern California is very populated with therapists. I needed a niche to get people in the door. I had always loved cupping, and there was a desire in me to learn more about it, so I chose cupping therapy to offer to my clients."

After talking through the process a bit, it was time to get down to business. Even though I was really excited for my session, I definitely was apprehensive about whether my entire back would turn black due to a few factors:

1) I hadn't gotten a massage in at least 6 months.
2) I was unemployed for 3 months, which definitely caused undue stress on my body both internally and externally.
3) I've been suffering from a bout of pretty horrible hives caused by that stress.

Paloma assured me that the marks wouldn't be as bad as I was expecting, and that they would vary in color depending on where the toxins were strongest and needed to be pulled the most. According to Paloma, "Cupping is the process of negative pressure pulling stagnant fluid to the surface, while removing toxic pathogens and promoting fresh oxygenated, nutrient rich blood and lymph." AKA some of those marks would be pretty darn dark, while others would be a nice pale pink! She also recommends that the average person should get a massage twice a month and maybe cupping one to twice a month depending on their body and what their focus is.

I think it's best to just show you exactly how the appointment went through photos, so without further adieu, here we go...

cupping, Massage SoCal, Paloma Sanders, massage, San Diego, Encinitas, Salon and Spa Directory, First Look Fridays Interview Series, salon, spa, Jamie Allison Sanders
Cups on cups on cups! All of the cups Paloma used during the treatment were on a table to the side of the massage bed.

cupping, Massage SoCal, Paloma Sanders, massage, San Diego, Encinitas, Salon and Spa Directory, First Look Fridays Interview Series, salon, spa, Jamie Allison Sanders
Getting a little closer up on the cups used during the treatment.

cupping, Massage SoCal, Paloma Sanders, massage, San Diego, Encinitas, Salon and Spa Directory, First Look Fridays Interview Series, salon, spa, Jamie Allison Sanders
As you can see, I had a lot of darker marks, especially concentrated on my upper back. During the treatment, Paloma said, "Ooooh, you're getting some nice color!"

cupping, Massage SoCal, Paloma Sanders, massage, San Diego, Encinitas, Salon and Spa Directory, First Look Fridays Interview Series, salon, spa, Jamie Allison Sanders
I was interested to see that the marks on my shoulders were actually lighter than I would have expected. Further down on my back and shoulder blades, OH WOW were those dark pink.

cupping, Massage SoCal, Paloma Sanders, massage, San Diego, Encinitas, Salon and Spa Directory, First Look Fridays Interview Series, salon, spa, Jamie Allison Sanders
Cupping every area of my back and shoulders imaginable!

cupping, Massage SoCal, Paloma Sanders, massage, San Diego, Encinitas, Salon and Spa Directory, First Look Fridays Interview Series, salon, spa, Jamie Allison Sanders
After all the cups were finally removed, this is what my back looked like. Aside from a couple darker marks lower down, the toxins were basically concentrated in my upper back and shoulders.

cupping, Massage SoCal, Paloma Sanders, massage, San Diego, Encinitas, Salon and Spa Directory, First Look Fridays Interview Series, salon, spa, Jamie Allison Sanders
Darker is better, right? ... Right?

Now, you might be thinking that cupping is incredibly painful. I really didn't think it was that excruciating! I would liken it to a deep tissue massage -- at some points, especially when the skin was first pulling up into the cups, there was definitely a bit more pressure. But it wasn't PAINFUL, and it actually felt pretty relaxing, especially when Paloma was running the cups up and down my back and shoulders before and after she would attach them to my skin. Definitely not torture-filled like you might wonder about!

I honestly can't say enough great things about the service itself or Paloma specifically. If I lived in San Diego, you'd better believe I'd be going to get massages and cupping done on the REGULAR! As it is, I'm definitely going to be making my way down to Encinitas much more often. Paloma is such a dream, especially because, as she says, "The most rewarding part of my job is that I love what I do and I get to help people feel better. I love it so much, I sometimes do it for free!"

Here are a few pics post treatment as well, just so you can see how the marks settled a bit...

cupping, Massage SoCal, Paloma Sanders, massage, San Diego, Encinitas, Salon and Spa Directory, First Look Fridays Interview Series, salon, spa, Jamie Allison Sanders

cupping, Massage SoCal, Paloma Sanders, massage, San Diego, Encinitas, Salon and Spa Directory, First Look Fridays Interview Series, salon, spa, Jamie Allison Sanders

cupping, Massage SoCal, Paloma Sanders, massage, San Diego, Encinitas, Salon and Spa Directory, First Look Fridays Interview Series, salon, spa, Jamie Allison Sanders

cupping, Massage SoCal, Paloma Sanders, massage, San Diego, Encinitas, Salon and Spa Directory, First Look Fridays Interview Series, salon, spa, Jamie Allison Sanders

If you're curious about cupping, and you want to try out an appointment with Paloma, GOOD NEWS -- I have an exclusive code for you! Book an appointment by December 31 with code BEAUTYCHICK101 (you don't have to come in by then, it just has to be booked) and you'll get an hour-long cupping session for only $39! Book your appointment here.

For more information about Paloma and the services she offers, visit massagesocal.com. You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram.

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