The Power of Retail for the Massage Professional

Massage therapy is a profession where the benefits of retail are often overlooked. Retail products can be a great tool in both accentuating your work for the client at home, but also as a source for clients to take accountability and control of their wellness, in addition to being a source of revenue.

Another way to effectively incorporate retail into your practice is to have self-care tools available for the client. A massage therapist has different recommendations than a physical therapist and still different from acupuncturists, chiropractors and so on. Each profession can suggest and sell materials that are related to their field of expertise, but are still for their clients’ general wellness. There are so many options to bring into your practice, from foam rollers and self-care trigger point “hooks” to pillows and magnetic garments, that shopping for such items can be overwhelming. Trade shows and conferences are great ways to get introduced to such products (for both information and price); trial and error is sometimes the best way to find what materials your clientele responds best to.

power of retail - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register MarkUltimately, any such self-care tools should be safe enough for them to use on their own. Even when given written instructions, clients can very easily overwork themselves. However, tools that you, the professionally trained body worker, use should not be sold to your clients. Not only can they overwork themselves, but some tools can cause harm when not fully and properly informed on how it works. (Sometimes less work truly is more, but non-professional body workers can feel that more is better.) Moreover, why would you give someone a tool that you were extensively trained in how to use? While it may seem easy to use just a little, there is a reason why training is crucial with some such tools. My greatest personal example is the use of cups in my practice versus just selling them to my clients for home care. Too much suction, inappropriate applications and thorough knowledge of drainage pathways are all relevant to using such a powerful tool. Why would I give this to a client who may not only overwork themselves, but could use on someone else and cause harm? The potential negligence and legal liabilities could come back to you, the professional, who gave them such materials. Such body work should be left to the professionals accordingly and this simple explanation can be most effective in dissuading the clients who “wouldn’t overwork themselves, promise!” (It happens to all of us; just stand your ground and have faith in both yourself and your professional ethics.)

Allowing clients the opportunity to get involved in their own wellness is one of the greatest tools we have available to us in this industry. Having products available to sell them will naturally increase your income, but we can appreciate the work they do and the results that come from their involvement at home as we both work to create a better state of overall wellness for our clients.

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Lauren Lane Portrait

Lauren Lane


With a background in structural and postural restoration, Lauren is an advocate of using cupping therapy to aid in myofascial release and lymphatic therapy. This allows her to work with patients who need the deep tissue work in a way that is much more comfortable. Her extensive knowledge and ability to explain complex topics in a relatable way paired with her enthusiasm for teaching makes her an ideal instructor. She also is a speciality in Temporomandibular disorders (TMDs), where the majority of her clients come to her for help with jaw pain and discomfort.

Stacie Nevelus Portrait

Stacie Nevelus

LMT, CNMT, Modern Cupping TherapyE/P, CECP

A specialist in therapeutic and sports massage applications, Stacie has become known as a specialist in acute and chronic injuries, and has expanded that knowledge through her work with elite and professional athletes in the MLB and NFL, as well as world-ranking professionals and Olympians. As a result of her expertise, Stacie has been featured often in industry publications, and conducted a number of appearances on TV and radio to help educate others on the benefits of cupping in sports therapies.

Shannon Gilmartin's Portrait

Shannon Gilmartin


Shannon Gilmartin, CMT, co-founding owner of Modern Cupping Therapy Education Company, is a Licensed and Nationally Certified Massage Therapist, Certified Modern Cupping Therapy Practitioner and Educator, and Certified Manual Lymph Drainage Practitioner. In addition to her focus in cupping bodywork, she has over twenty years of experience in bodywork, including: manual lymph drainage, medical massage, myofascial release, neuromuscular, craniosacral, soft tissue injury rehabilitation, Thai massage, and visceral manipulation. She has taught all over the United States and abroad, including Canada, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Ireland, Italy, and Puerto Rico (US). Shannon owns a private practice in Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA.

Shannon has authored the Modern Cupping Therapy series, including ‘The Guide to Modern Cupping Therapy: A Step-by-Step Source for Vacuum Therapies,’ ‘Easy Facial Cupping at Home,’ and ‘Face and Body Cupping: A Step-by-Step Guide to Lymph Drainage for Professional Cosmetic Rejuvenation, Cellulite Reduction and Contouring.’ Shannon has been published in several magazines, been interviewed on several platforms, lectured at sports medicine conferences, and hosted online webinars.

Shannon is also very passionate about her work with charitable organizations, including Global Healthworks Foundation, Homes of Hope Orphanage system, and Surfers Healing.

Searching for a Cupping Certification?

Focus on the FULL MCT Certification Course

Discover the truly dynamic potential of therapeutic cupping and earn a certification in cupping therapy. While cupping therapies have existed worldwide throughout time, Modern Cupping Therapy offers education in the theory, safety, and practical application of vacuum therapies for the non-invasive (no bleeding or ‘wet’ cupping), therapeutic usage of cups.

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Fundamentals of Modern Cupping Therapy

2-day Course
12.5-14 CEUs*

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Therapeutic Cupping for Lymphatic Drainage

1-day Course
6.25-7 CEUs*

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MCT for Pathology & Scar Tissue

1-day Course
6.25-7 CEUs*

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Modern Cupping Therapy Full Certification

Want more detailed info about our Introductory Courses? Click the titles of each to get more info.
*CEUs vary by profession and state. Please confirm that your board will accept the CEUs before registering for a course.

New to Modern Cupping Therapy Education Co?

Start with our Introductory Courses

Providing an excellent cupping therapy service for your clients begins with understanding the science and the safety of using therapeutic cupping in your bodywork. Each student of MCTEC starts with our introductory courses to ensure that everyone knows the science and practices the safety in accordance with our standard. Everyone starts here.

To take any additional MCT courses, practitioners must complete Fundamentals of Modern Cupping Therapy and Therapeutic Cupping for Lymph Drainage OR our 3-day Combination Course.

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2-day Course
12.5-14 CEUs*

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3-day Course
18.75-21 CEUs*

Want more detailed info about our Introductory Courses? Click the titles of each to get more info.
*CEUs vary by profession and state. Please confirm that your board will accept the CEUs before registering for a course.