Announcement!

1 Jul

We are SUPER happy to announce that Neema Nzyoka will be joining the Zealous Vitality Team!

20140624_153349

Neema will take care of shipping, tracking and office duties for The Stick.  She comes to us with loads of office experience, a FANTASTICK work ethic and unreal people skills!  This now means that orders will be filled faster and tracked accordingly.

Happy Canada Day!

Prevention of Running Injuries

25 Mar

Here is a great post by Jeff Cubos of JeffCubos.com. It is titled:

New Trends in the Prevention of Running Injuries (Course Summary)

 

Here is a quick graphic:

quantifying-mechanical-stress

 

 

The Stick at the Olympics

18 Feb

I have sold many Sticks to Olympians and I know they use them.  It is always very exciting to see The Stick in use by anyone.  However, seeing Olympians use them is very cool.

photoYes, that is a Sprinter Stick @ 43 seconds!

What I love most is the video tributes that CBC puts out!  Click below to watch the video:

Fresh Tracks: Broken Teeth by Sam Roberts

 

Played Around With an Ad!

20 Jan

 

 

TheStick

 

I tried my skills with an Advertisement using the free software GIMP!  I used the Marathon Stick and Hybrid Stick as my models!

It Must Be Christmas Time!

13 Dec

20131213_125541

Lots of gifts being sent out!

Body Sticks

Travel Sticks

Marathon Sticks

FootWheels

The Stick Makes a Perfect Gift!

8 Dec

Why does The Stick make a perfect gift?

Selection

Here is why The Stick makes the perfect gift:

  1. Personalized – One size does not fit all!  Each person has a different body, therefore there are many different Sticks to meet each persons individualized needs.
  2. Easy to Use – The Stick comes with very easy instructions.  You do not need to go to the floor and you control 100% of the intensity.
  3. Keeps on Giving – The Stick does not wear out.  It is extremely durable and expertly made.
  4. Portable – The recipient of the great gift can take it anywhere!
  5. Prevention/Rehabilitation/Prediction/Identification – That’s right….when used often, The Stick can prevent, rehabilitate, predict and identify soft-tissue injuries.

Give the gift that keeps giving!!

The Stick and Zealous Vitality Welcome Ernie’s Fitness Experts

12 Oct

We would like to welcome Ernie’s Fitness Experts as a venue in which to purchase Stiff Sticks, Marathon Sticks and Travel Sticks in Grande Prairie, Alberta.

Ernie's

Massage Therapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis

24 Aug

By: Tammy Mahan

Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful condition that affects about 1.3 million North Americans. Sufferers are always searching for a way to help reduce the pain or eliminate it altogether. It is not only painful but it can have devastating effects on other areas of the body.

Massage therapy has proven to be beneficial to many people who have rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis is classified as an autoimmune disease. What happens is the body’s immune system starts to see the person’s joints as foreign or potentially dangerous invaders that will harm the body.

This immune response causes the person’s joints to become swollen and inflamed. Some of the most common places that are affected by rheumatoid arthritis are the wrists, feet and hands. Although other areas of the body can also be affected including the jaw, hips, neck, shoulders, and ankles. There are also other areas of a person’s body that can be affected by rheumatoid arthritis these are rare but they do occur in some people; the eyes, heart, lungs, blood vessels, tear ducts, salivary glands and internal organs. RA can also cause anemia and heart disease, more specifically it can put a person at a higher risk for a heart attack.

Rheumatoid arthritis will usually also make a person feel under the weather or generally ill, tired, flu like symptoms, stiffness, weight loss, insomnia, lumps can form under the skin as a result of the cartilage and bone breaking down, and sometimes it will produce a fever.

Massage therapy for rheumatoid arthritis has numerous benefits. Some of them include reduced inflammation, reduced pain, increase in mobility and range of motion and a better quality of life.

I would like to introduce you to a new type of massage therapy that may help you called “The Stick” – The website states 10 facts about the benefits.

  • It is so easy to use.
  • You can use it anywhere.
  • You can take it anywhere.
  • You can use it in virtually any position, as long as your muscles are relaxed!
  • You can get it wet, drop it in the mud or snow and it will still work.
  • You do not need a mat or have to go to the floor to use it.
  • You do not need a plug in.
  • It is light and very versatile.
  • It massages your muscles, not crushes them.
  • The Stick was created and developed with University Scientific Studies!

The Hybrid Stick is probably the one you would want to ease rheumatoid arthritis pain. Although, all of the sticks have specific benefits and work well so anyone of them would work well.

Hybrid Stick

Hybrid Stick

Massage therapy for rheumatoid arthritis has numerous benefits some of them include reduced inflammation, reduced pain, increase in mobility and range of motion and a better quality of life.

Tammy Mahan has worked in the healthcare field as a nurse for 20 years. She shares her knowledge by contributing articles to Healthline.com.

The Benefits of Self-Massage Using the Stick

3 Aug

By Marcela De Vivo

What if you didn’t have to count on somebody else to give you a massage? When your muscles are sore, achy and tired, you won’t always have someone willing to do the work for you, unless, of course, you opt to pay for a professional massage. A self-massage doesn’t seem like a workable or practical solution, since we can’t even reach the areas of our body that need it the most.

However, if you feel like you would benefit from a regular self-massage, there is a way you can do it on your own with a product called The Stick.

Back Pain

The Stick is designed to mimic the work of a massage therapist and give you nearly all of the same benefits you would receive from actually going to one. It’s also crafted in such a way that enables you to administer the massage yourself, even when trying to reach your back.

Using it on a daily basis is similar to getting a massage with that same amount of regularity, and can benefit you in the following areas:

1. Muscle soreness and knots — If you’re an active person and spend a lot of time working out or enjoy engaging in some kind of physical activity, you’re guaranteed to experience sore and knotted muscles. The Stick can alleviate that pain and help you to regularly tend to these overworked areas.

2. Lower back pain — When your arms or shoulders are sore, you have at least some ability to reach them with your own hands if need be. Your lower back, on the other hand, is pretty much out of reach unless you have a tool like The Stick that can help you reach it.

Being able to self-massage your back can decrease lower back pain and actually improve your posture along with the muscles around your spinal column.

3. Circulation — Massaging any muscle in your body will increase circulation and encourage blood flow to and throughout that part of your body. This can be beneficial for injuries, migraines, tension headaches or just encouraging overall circulation. Again, the advantage here is that you can administer the massage with much greater regularity, thereby increasing the benefits and positive results.

4. Stress — A massage has long been known as one of the best ways to deal with both physical and mental stress. If you can make it a regular part of your relaxation routine every evening, than you should see a huge drop in your stress and tension levels. This happens on both a physical and psychological level, since a massage causes your body to release endorphins and can also lower your blood pressure.

5.  Sports and athletic performance — If you’re an athlete, or even just active in recreational sports, The Stick can benefit you both before and after a workout or an athletic event. Massaging the muscles you use the most is crucial for both a warm up and cool down phase, primarily because of the extra circulation and the amount of oxygen that it’s bringing to your muscles.

Overall Health

A regular massage is an effective way to improve your overall health and wellness, not just isolated areas of your body. Since The Stick allows you to do it yourself, you’ll see tremendous benefits in all these areas, which will lead to an improvement in your overall health and condition, if you use it regularly.

Marcela De Vivo is a health and beauty writer for a Miami salon, Bellezza Spa, yoga enthusiast and mother of three. Because she can’t count on her kids to give her a massage, she personally practices yoga on a daily basis and uses other products, like The Stick, to ease muscle tension and soreness. Follow her onTwitter today!

Feeling Tired? Try These Natural Remedies for Fatigue

13 Oct

Here is a great guest post by Kim Willington!

Most of us are trying to juggle too much and squeeze the most out of every minute of the day. We are working too long. We are not taking time for ourselves. And we are not getting the sleep we need.

It’s not wonder most of us are so tired all the time.

While fatigue could be a symptom of an underlying health problem, for most of us, it’s just a symptom of our unbalanced lives. You don’t need prescription drugs to help you get more pep in your step. Try these natural remedies to help you fight fatigue:

Massage

Fatigue can be caused by an imbalance in your body, which can often be created by having too much stress. Massage can provide relief and help you to counteract the effects of stress, helping you to restore balance in your body and improve your energy levels. Massage also promotes healthy circulation, which can improve energy levels.

Exercise

How do you feel after you jump off the treadmill? You may be tired, but chances are you aren’t interested in taking a nap. While exercise may make you feel physically “tired” from working your muscles, it will improve your energy by revving up your heart rate and increasing levels of feel-good hormones.

Aim for about 30 minutes a day to get the benefits. Longer periods of exercise, or very intense periods of exercise, can contribute to your fatigue by overworking your body.

Eat a Healthy Diet

The wrong kinds of foods can contribute to fatigue. For example, sugars and simple carbohydrates can cause blood sugar levels to become out of balance, spiking and crashing energy levels. Excessive fats can overwork the liver, leading to fatigue.

Stick to a healthy diet that includes lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats, and you will maintain steady energy levels throughout the day. Also be sure to drink plenty of pure water.

Take Supplements

Often, fatigue can be caused by a deficiency of some vitamin or nutrient in your diet. You can correct these deficiencies by taking a good multi-vitamin to start and then looking into other possible supplements. Some key supplements that influence energy levels include Vitamin B12, magnesium, Vitamin C, and Coenzyme Q10.

Sleep

The most obvious remedy for fatigue is to get more sleep. Your body needs a minimum of 8 hours each sleep each night, but most Americans do not get the recommended amount. Slowly make more time for sleep by going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night or waking up 15 minutes later each day. Continue to adjust your time until you are getting the right amount of sleep.

Power naps can also help you to get the sleep you need. Be careful not to oversleep in the middle of the day as it could cause you to stay up too late at night and throw off your sleep cycle.

If you try these natural remedies for fatigue and you still don’t have more energy, you may need to see a doctor to find out if there are any underlying causes for your fatigue. Emotional problems like depression or chronic stress can also lead to chronic fatigue. Be sure to talk to a healthcare provider to better understand what might be causing your fatigue and find out how you can combat it.

What other natural remedies do you use to fight fatigue? Share your tips in the comments!

Kim Willington is a freelance writer and researcher for Helpdesksoftware.org, where she has recently been researching help desk software. In her spare time, she enjoys antiquing and taking long walks with her retriever, Spencer.

Thank you Kim…I would like to add that The Stick is an excellent tool for self-massage without breaking the bank account.

Quads

Video Testimonies about The Stick

8 Oct

Here are some recent video Testimonies about The Stick.

We have more testimonials here.

Please make a comment and share your testimonial about The Stick.

Traveling with The Stick – A Stick Testimony

6 Oct

Here is a fun little video testimony about Traveling with The Stick.

We posted more information here about travelling with The Stick.

What has been your experience when travelling with The Stick?  Post a comment below.

A Great Video About The Stick and Specialty Products

30 Sep

Here is a video explaining some of the features about The Stick and affiliated Specialty Products like the FootWheel, TriggerWheel and PostureCurve.

The Stick & Zealous Vitality Welcome Apex Massage Therapy

27 Jul

We would like to welcome Apex Massage Therapy as a venue in which to purchase Travel Sticks in Calgary, Alberta.

Kensington 403.270.7788
17th Ave 403.244.8925

Massage is a Great Way to Relax

17 Jul

Today we have a guest post from Melanie Bowen.  Melanie  joined the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance in 2011 as an awareness advocate for natural health and cancer cure initiatives.

Massage is a Great Way to Relax

Studies repeatedly show that massage therapy is one of the best ways to increase quality of life amongst cancer patients. People often overlook the benefits of massage when it comes to decreasing pain and improving mood. Massage is a great way to unwind from stress and provides long-lasting results.

Dealing with cancer issues can put pressure on anyone’s life. It is always good to discover multiple ways to unwind and get perspective without always relying completely on medication. Add massage to your therapeutic arsenal. Many doctors agree that massage is a great adjunct to conventional therapies. It can also be modified easily to any patient’s particular needs.

Pain and stress are typically immense factors when dealing with cancer issues. This is a good time to consider massage therapy. It does not interfere with other treatments and takes minimum effort. This means that a wide range of cancer survivors can benefit from this trusted form of hands-on relaxation. Studies show that the expert touch of trained personnel can help pain and stress fall away. Sometimes this benefit can even be obtained within just one session.

One of the best things about massage is that it is readily accessible. Massage is one of the most popular ways to relax. There are many certified massage therapists available in any given area. It is even a part of outpatient and clinical therapy programs. It is a good idea to bring up the idea of massage therapy with your physician. This way you can find out if massage therapy is a good match for you. They will often be glad to help you find the right program for your needs. Massage is just one those kinds of therapies which nearly everyone can benefit.

Cancer patients that undergo massage for just minutes a day can see quick benefits. They often notice decreased pain and better mood. Having professionals work stress out of painful joints and muscles is a plus in anyone’s book. Today’s massage experts have a range of therapeutic techniques that can be modified for your needs and requirements. Even mesothelioma patients benefit from this non-strenuous therapy with specialized care. Everyone has heard about the healing power of touch. Have professional massage and feel the benefits for yourself.

Consult your doctor and find a therapy that will work best for you and your treatment because professional therapists know how to work that tension out right away. It is good to take moments during the day to relax. Massage therapy is not a cure but is a great addition to a multifaceted approach. It goes along with other forms of exercise, especially after a strenuous workout.

Just think about how nice it will be to get expert attention to aching muscles. Tension can melt away in just minutes. Contact your physician and find out more about how massage can benefit you. Give your mind, body and spirit a vacation from some of life’s everyday stressors and get out there and soak up all the benefits massage therapy has to offer!

Thank you Melanie!

Partner Work With The Stick

2 Jun

The Stick is meant to be used as a self-massage tool.  However, it can be used by one person on another.  Many practitioners use The Stick in their treatments on clients and patients.  Here are a couple of videos posted by 70’sBig.com .  The guys in the video are using the Stiff Stick.

Mobility – The Stick – Part 1

 

Mobility – The Stick – Part 2

 

The Stick & Zealous Vitality Welcome No Sweat

31 Mar

We would like to welcome No Sweat as a venue in which to purchase a Stick.

Phone :   (403) 204-1401

 Address : 21B-8720 MacLeod Trail SE, Calgary, AB T2H0M4

The Stick & Zealous Vitality Welcome Collegiate Sports Medicine

30 Mar

We would like to welcome Collegiate Sports Medicine as a venue in which to purchase a Stick.

Facebook cover page for The Stick

28 Mar

I just created a new facebook cover page for The Stick.

The Stick is on Pinterest!

27 Mar

! !

 

We are now on 

The Secrets of The Stick

26 Mar

I had the opportunity to answer some questions about The Stick for Mark Kennedy of Healthynomics.  I really enjoyed the experience.  Here are the questions Mark asked me:

How did the idea for The Stick come about?

What types of common injuries can The Stick help prevent and rehabilitate?

Explain how The Stick can help athletes. Are there any sports in particular where the Stick has been particularly beneficial?

What unique benefits does the Stick provide over other types of self-massage tools like foam rollers?

What can you expect the feel after the first few times using the The Stick?

What’s next for The Stick?

To find out about the answers, you will need to go to Mark’s website!

 

‘The Stick’ Self Massage Tool Reviewed by Technically Running

12 Jan

The folks at MyFiveFinger.com have posted a review of The Stick.  The model they use is the Sprinter Stick pictured in their graphic below.

Picture from MyFiveFingers.com

We have more reviews of The Stick on our website.

New video about “The Stick”

1 Jan

Here is a great video about “The Stick” that I found the other day.  It is professional with some great video editing.

I was not surprised that the video looked as good as it was when I found out that the person who made it – Tim Hacker is a photojournalist.

 

Gear Review: The Stick – A toothbrush for your muscles?

9 Oct

Here is a review done by TrailRunner.ca. They are based out of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.

The Stick is a self-massage tool the company claims to be ‘a toothbrush for your muscles’. This clever marketing is a high claim since most of us view a ‘tootbrush’ as an essential everyday (even twice a day) personal item. It was with this claim in mind that I reviewed and evaluated The Stick for its benefits for me as a runner.

I reviewed two versions of The Stick – The Original Stick and The Sprinter Stick. The Original Stick is 24″ (61 cm) long (retail – $46.75) while the Sprinter Stick is shorter at 19″ (48 cm) (retail – $38.45). The Original Stick has significantly more flex to it than the Sprinter Stick. The company’s website states the Sprinter Stick is best for heavy muscles with the Original Stick best for average muscles.

The products arrived two days after I had completed the Lost Soul Ultra 50k. My muscles were still quite sore and sensitive and my busy schedule didn’t have a lot of time for a massage appointment. So this was the perfect opportunity to test out a product claiming many benefits similar to those from massage therapy. I first tried the Original Stick on my sore and tight calf muscles followed by my almost still seizing hamstrings. The Original Stick has good flexibility and wrapped nicely around my calves, giving muscle stiffness relief that was similar to massage therapy treatment. The hard plastic cylinders that roll around the inner shaft allow you to work the muscles as hard or as soft as you wish.

The hamstrings were a bit more difficult as you must be sitting so that your hamstring muscles are relaxed for the Stick to be effective. The hamstring is generally most relaxed when you are lying on your back or stomach; thereby making self-massage with The Stick a bit more tricky. I found sitting on a couch with adequate height worked well or alternatively sitting on the ground with your legs straight out and the Stick underneath your legs. Yet, with both positions the muscle wasn’t as completely relaxed as it would be if a massage therapist was working on you. Once I found a good position the Original Stick worked well to ease some of my hamstring tightness from the race.

The next day I then tried the same thing, but with the Sprinter Stick rather than the Original Stick. The shorter and more rigid Sprinter was not as effective as the Original Stick on these muscle groups. My relatively small frame 5′6″, 130 lbs perhaps doesn’t lend itself to the stiffer Sprinter Stick, because I could only work small portions of the muscle due to the lack of flexibility.  I then tried the Sprinter Stick on my quads with more success. This large and easy-to-access muscle group seemed to be more effectively worked with the rigid Sprinter stick, since direct pressure could be applied to a larger muscle region.

So, does the Stick live up to its lofty claim of being a ‘tootbrush for your muscles’? I’d say yes it did and now I use it almost everyday – a true test of a product’s value.  It has noticeable benefits when used daily and if you go a few days without your muscles will let you know. Nonetheless it’s not possible to work every muscle with the Stick and I see it being used in conjunction with regular massage treatment for full recovery.

For the majority of runners, especially leaner trail and ultra runners I’d recommend the Original Stick. It is highly effective at providing relief for sore aching muscles and promoting a quicker post-race recovery time. It performs as well, or better, than a foam roller on most muscle groups, including the IT band, and is easier to take with you to a destination race. If you have larger, especially tight, muscles then the Sprinter Stick might be a more effective alternative for you and its smaller size is slightly more convenient for storage and traveling.

There are now a host of post-run home physio products on the market, including various types of rollers, stretching bands, and even at-home ultrasound. From my experience the Stick is one product that will result in genuine improved recovery and which you will feel better after you use. Regardless of how many academic research studies are behind a product (and the Stick has dozens just check the website), the user will decide if they feel better and recover faster after its use. Gladly, I can say that the Stick passed this test and I now use it daily.

Products were supplied by Zealous Vitality – www.thestick.ca

~JS

To see the article at Trail Runner click here.

The Value of The Stick

14 Sep

I had an order come in the other day for a Travel Stick to be shipped to Quebec.  Like any other order, I replied with shipping and payment options.  It looked something like this:

Hello….

Thank you for ordering a Travel Stick.

I have inserted some shipping quotes for you below:

–          3 Business Day (Xpresspost) = $19.00

–          7 Business Days (Expedited parcel) = $14.82

You are probably thinking ” Why not just automate the process”.  Well the answer is….I like the personal touch.  Our order form is a purchase order form where you place an order and you get a real person (me) sending an email back with shipping and payment options.  I know some people love the process because I often have a phone conversation with them about The Stick and health in general.  I also know some people just want to hammer in their credit card information and be done with it.

Anyway, I was a little surprised to learn that the person who wanted a Travel Stick thought that the shipping was too expensive for a $30 item.  The buyer also did not like that the shipping cost did not happen right away.  I explained in my email back that each Stick(s) ship differently in size and weight.  Instead of estimating or guessing what shipping might be I pump in the postal code and dimensions of every order into Canada Post’s online shipping website.  I therefore get a 100% accurate quote.  Some companies make money on shipping costs…. we do not.  I also have shipped to Quebec before.

I was not hurt or upset, but it got me thinking.  The buyer was correct.  The price for shipping (BTW Canada Post is the most cost efficient) was half the price of the Travel Stick.  That does seem expensive.  However, the VALUE of the Travel Stick is what gets me excited.  The Stick has been around for 19 years and is proven to be an effective tool.  Yes, the shipping was a little expensive, but I could not hand deliver the Travel Stick to Quebec from Alberta, for that price.  That is what I love about all The Sticks.  They are very affordable for the job they do over and over and over again.

To be honest, distributing The Stick is not like distributing something like batteries or toilet paper or some other consumable product.  The Stick is a one time purchase in most cases.  Consumable products like batteries and toilet paper need to be purchased over and over again.  The Stick is simply a fantastic tool with loads of value.

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment.

THE NEW HYBRID STICK!

14 Jul

The "Newest Stick"

Yes my friends….. a NEW STICK!!!

One of the most common questions I get from Stick users is “What is new with The Stick?”  My immediate answer is “Nothing….The Stick has been basically the same for 19 years.  The manufacturers of The Stick just don’t change what is not broken.  The Stick has lasted the test of time”.

Now don’t get me wrong, The TriggerWheel, FootWheel and PostureCurve are relatively new.  New models of  Sticks have come out and handles have been changed and improved but this time RPI of Atlanta has really outdone themselves.  The HYBRID STICK is awesome!

The wheel in the middle of the Stick allows for pinpoint accuracy that zeros in on trouble spots and trigger points.  Here is a video I created today!

 

 

Stay tuned for more on the HYBRID STICK!

The Stick Wins Best in Show – Again!

16 Apr

 

The Stick was awarded Best in Show for 2008, 2009 and 2010 for Massage Therapy.

The Stick has been around for 19 years and still wins awards!!! The popularity of The Stick continues to grow.  To see other award winners click here – http://www.nata.org/access-read/public/best-show

CrossFit Champion Dan Rogers Comments on The Stick

27 Jan

Dan Rogers is the 2010 Canadian CrossFit Champion!

I was amazed at the fitness ans strength level when I watched all the finalists compete at the National CrossFit Championships in Okotoks, Alberta.  I was actually promoting The Stick, but I was more interested in watching the superior fitness levels of both the female and male athletes.  I could not stop thinking that these athletes have trained at an incredibly high level to reach the level of pure fitness that they were at.  The above picture was actually from championships. (I did not take it, but I remember it well) I posted a blog back in August sharing my thoughts of the competition.

I decided to help Dan with his quest in his participation in the CrossFit Games in southern California  by sponsoring him a Stiff Stick, FootWheel and TriggerWheel

Here is what Dan Rogers had to say about the products:

Your products were phenomenal and have been a big help to me. The Stick is a go to for quad and calf tightness and is used nearly daily for relief in hot areas. Other athlete’s at the games were continuously borrowing it when they saw me grinding out my thighs afters an event. The Trigger Wheel has been the greatest for forearm relief and tightness through my neck. The arms can get tight as hell after several hundred pull ups and its nice to have something that can dig em’ out so effectively. It’s also helped me work out headaches that I now know are caused from tightness in my neck. I also use it on tight/hot areas to really get in and dig stuff out. It is great and hurts so good. The Foot Wheel just plain feels good and is borrowed all the time by clients with foot pain. 

Dan added a story about The Stick:

Funny story about The Stick though was that when I was getting on the plane for California I almost had it confiscated as the believed it was a baton. I got to go on a rant about myofascial release and demonstrate on TSA agents how it could help release the tension caused by standing around all day. I was held up for about 20 minutes while I watched them discuss and rotated between rolling out their legs and wield it like a machete. I eventually got to board the plane but had to check my tension weapon.

Thanks Dan and best of luck to you!

Get FIT in the LOOP

5 Jan

I am involved in this great event called, “Get FIT in the LOOP.  I am really excited about sharing my services/products and those of my colleagues.

 The Get FIT in the LOOP VIP card is only $15, and is packed with tons of savings, over $800 in value and includes such offerings as; Yoga, fitness and aquatic classes, reflexology, Reiki and Detox treatments, nutritional  education and a variety  of their specialized mind, body and spirit services and products.  Call 403-466-0467 to find out how you can get yours today!

Go to http://www.mardaloopbrz.com for a complete list of what this amazing event has to offer.

 I highly recommend it!

2010 in Review

2 Jan

 Share

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health: 

Healthy blog! 

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever. 

Crunchy numbers

Featured image 

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 6,300 times in 2010. That’s about 15 full 747s. 

In 2010, there were 16 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 110 posts. There were 14 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 11mb. That’s about a picture per month. 

The busiest day of the year was September 26th with 60 views. The most popular post that day was Chasing Atlanta ** Stick 101** Post – Free Giveaway!

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were blogcatalog.com, thestick.ca, facebook.com, en.wordpress.com, and bieganie.pl

Some visitors came searching, mostly for the stick massage, using the stick, massage sticks, back massage stick, and the stick it band

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010. 

1

Chasing Atlanta ** Stick 101** Post – Free Giveaway! September 2010
9 comments 

2

Choosing The Right Massage Stick April 2009
4 comments 

3

IT Band Syndrome November 2008
6 comments 

4

A New Back Massage Exercise With “The Stick”. March 2009
5 comments 

5

Using “The Stick” for Reducing Muscle Soreness February 2009
2 comments

The Benefit of a Functional Warm Up for Runners

31 Oct

 Share

Here is a guest post that is sure to give you the most up to date information of the importance of a warm-up for Runners.  Jon- Erik Kawamoto has been a featured columnist in Impact Magazine, Canadian Running Magazine and BC Coaches Perspective magazine.

The Benefit of a Functional Warm Up for Runners

By Jon-Erik Kawamoto

http://www.StrongerRunner.com

Traditionally, the warm up had the focus of improving flexibility.  Static stretches would be performed on all major muscle groups with hopes of reducing injury risk and preparing the body for exercise, in our case a running workout or race.

The idea of a flexibility-based warm up has been proven to be ineffective and actually detrimental to subsequent power development and endurance running performance.  Static stretches are an important component of a strength and conditioning program, but it shouldn’t be placed prior to a running/gym workout or an intense race.

Having said that, the focus of the warm up needs to change.  A more appropriate warm up will focus on actually preparing you for that tough workout by increasing your internal body temperature and priming the cardiovascular and nervous systems.

The warm up should contribute to the development of balance, coordination, running mechanics, core strength, tissue quality and muscle activation.

A proper warm up should prepare the body physically and mentally for the intense workout or race that follows.  An active warm-up will enhance performance by improving:

  • range of motion
  • joint lubrication
    • oxygen uptake because of increased oxygen delivery to the working muscles and via an enhanced utilization of oxygen from the blood
    • the speed and force of muscle contractions because nerve impulses travel faster in a warm muscle compared to a cold muscle

A runner can start with foam rolling and/or The Stick, otherwise known as self myofascial release prior to starting his/her easy jog, typically lasting 5-20 minutes.  Foam rolling or The Stick will promote tissue quality and higher quality muscle contractions.  After this general warm up, it’s a great opportunity to perform dynamic stretches – stretches that are held for 2 seconds max, which are performed in a slight ballistic fashion, but under control.  Check out my ebook titled The Best Mobility Drills for Runners – get it FREE from www.StrongerRunner.com.  I go over several dynamic stretches that runners can do while warming up for an intense workout or race.

After the mobility drills are performed, your body should be quite warm now.  This is a great time to perform some muscle activation drills.  One of my favorites for runners is a single leg hip bridge – one variation I like to perform is called the knee hug hip lift.

After the muscle activation section of your warm up, proceed to your form drills and running strides.  This is the last phase of your functional warm up.  Stay tuned for a future blog post describing the best form drills for runners.  After your running strides you will be ready for a great workout!

But remember, don’t fatigue yourself before you even start your workout/race!  Take it easy in the warm up and take many breaks.  Remember, the warm up is supposed to prepare you for the workout/race, not tear you down!

A movement focused cool down is also beneficial to the runner to promote recovery after the intense workout/race.  Blood will be drawn back to the heart to prevent venous pooling and nutrient rich blood will be delivered to the broken down muscles.  The body’s internal temperature will drop and slowly return to the pre-workout/race state.  This usually consists of a 5-20 minute easy jog.

A flexibility focused cool-down following the easy cool down run will further lower the body’s core temperature while promoting proper muscle length.  This is the perfect time to promote flexibility – while the muscles are warm.  So hold each stretch for roughly 30 seconds.  Runners would benefit from stretching their upper and lower calf muscles, quads, hip flexors, hip rotators, hamstring muscles, chest and/or lats.

Thanks for reading,

Jon-Erik Kawamoto, CSCS, CEP

My name is Jon-Erik Kawamoto. I’m a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS – with the National Strength and Conditioning Association) and Certified Exercise Physiologist (CEP – with the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology). I specialize in helping middle-to-long distance runners become strong and powerful. I have authored many articles on strength and conditioning for the endurance athlete in magazines such as Canadian Running, IMPACT, Canadian Cycling and the BC Coaches Perspective.  Get your FREE DVD titled 10 MIN to a Stronger CORE at www.StrongerRunner.com.


The Stick is Showcased on The Doctors

14 Oct

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What more can be said…..check out this video – http://thedoctorstv.com/main/home_page?init_type=Feature&init_id=2105.

It looks like they are using the Original Body Stick (blue handles), the Sprinter Stick (grey handles – short), the Little Stick (black handles) and the Big Stick (grey handles – long).  Their commentary is pretty funny.

Sorry, I could not embed the video!

Chasing Atlanta ** Stick 101** Post – Free Giveaway!

19 Sep
This post is a copied post from Leah of Chasing Atlanta.  Leah is a massage therapist and an avid runner in Clarkston, MI, USA.  She is also a huge advocate of The Stick.

As you may have figured by the amount of times I mention it, I’m a big proponent of the self-massage tool known as the Stick. It’s one of my can’t live without running essentials, and I also recommend it to my massage clients all the time. I’ve had the opportunity to work the Stick booth at a few race expos and I thought I’d share a little Stick 101 before getting to the details of my giveaway of, yes, you guessed it, a Stick!
The picture above shows my own Stick family, of which each piece has it’s own role. The gray-handled Sprinter Stick is my go-to Stick for day-to-day maintenance. This is the one I use most often before and after my runs and it’s also the one that I travel with, whether to a local or out of town race or just to the track. The Sprinter Stick is the top seller at expos and is of medium flexibility. The stiffer the Stick the deeper the massage.
Speaking of stiffness, the longer black-handled Stick above is the Stiff Stick, the big daddy, the stiffest of Sticks. This is the one I use when I need some really deep work. It’s the second most popular model at expos and great for those with denser muscle mass and/or those who prefer deeper tissue massage.
The Travel Stick (red handles above) is sort of the red-headed stepchild of my Stick family in that it often gets neglected. This was my first Stick and I bought it before I knew there were other models. The Travel Stick is more flexible and generally doesn’t have enough oomph for me. It isn’t all that much smaller than the Sprinter so it’s size isn’t really an advantage. I tend to use this one only when my muscles are super, super tender. It’s unfortunate, but a lot of specialty running stores and online retailers only carry the Travel Stick and the ill-named, yellow-handled Marathon Stick (not pictured, the softest Stick of the lot). These are the two Sticks we sell the least of at expos. In fact, I’ve never sold one of either.
The smaller black-handled Stick in the picture is my Little Stick. I love this Stick and think of it as the over-achiever of the family. It’s lack of length makes it less than ideal for bigger muscle groups such as hamstrings and quadriceps, but since it’s so short it isn’t very flexible. Consequently, you can do some really thorough work on smaller areas such as calves and IT bands. This Stick is great for on-the-go work. Last week when my calf was in such bad shape I tossed it into my purse and took it to work with me. I also like to stash my Little Stick in my gear check bag so I’ll have it right up to a race and immediately afterwards.
There are longer Sticks available for those who want to do a lot of upper body work and need the extra reach. Of the longer Sticks, the Body Stick is more flexible and the Power Stick is stiffer. The Foot Wheel is a great tool for plantar fasciitis and other foot issues and the Trigger Wheel helps with those pesky shoulder knots and tight neck muscles. You can find out more about these and all the Stick products here.
Before I get to the giveaway I wanted to address one other issue, since it’s the most common question I get at expos: “What makes this better than a foam roller?” The Stick isn’t necessarily better than a foam roller, but they do work in different ways. I have a foam roller also and I love it, but I feel the Stick has some distinct advantages, aside from the obvious portability and contortion issues. A foam roller is great for quads and IT bands, but I find the Stick is better at getting at trickier muscles such as the hip flexors, adductors and tibialis anterior. Also, since you’re using your own body weight with a foam roller the pressure is never really going to change. With the Stick you can use as much or as little pressure as you want.
Okay, giveaway time!
I have up for grabs a Little Stick! Here’s how to enter:
  • Become a follower and leave a comment on this post to let me know you have (or let me know if you are already a follower). – Chasing Atlanta
  • Also let me know in your comment if you’ve ever used the Stick before. If so, which one?
For a bonus entry:
  • Link this giveaway on your own blog, facebook, etc. and post another comment letting me know.
Entry deadline is Wednesday, September 29th. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced on Thursday, September 30th.
– Posted by Leah
I will also honor this post by giving away a Little Stick to our Canadian readers.  All you need to do is make a comment on this post about why you “like” The Stick or if you have never used The Stick before, why you think you may “like” the Stick.  Speaking of “liking” the Stick, I also have a Facebook page that you may want to “like”  the Stick!

CrossFit Athletes Prefer a Stiffer Stick

14 Aug

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On May 30th, 2010 in Okotoks, Alberta, Canada (my home town) I attended the National CrossFit Championships.  For those of you who don’t know what CrossFit is – “The editors of PureHealthMD writing for Discovery Health Channel found CrossFit “equals better fitness and stronger muscles in a more reasonable amount of time” compared to trying to “build muscle and get in shape by spending 60 minutes or more in the gym several days a week…” Their conclusion was that the program “is a different type of exercise routine …a well-rounded and very efficient way to achieve a higher level of fitness …that does not need a whole lot of fancy equipment, but does offer a nice variety to keep the interest level up and provide the challenge needed to keep the exercise fun.”  For more information on what CrossFit is you can go here.  I was super impressed with the competition as a whole.  The weekend long event culminated with a tire flipping, power lifts and lapping a hockey arena display of power, speed and endurance.  This picture shows just a glimpse of the ladies finals.

I had a small booth spreading the good word about The Stick.  I spoke with athletes about their training, recovery, nutrition and soft – tissue manipulation.  Most of the athletes I spoke with knew how important it was to perform at the highest level they could.  Of course, they were…..they were competing at the National Finals!!

What most people don’t know about these competitions or CrossFit in general is that these athletes work their bodies to exhaustion all the time.  The top athletes  actually training like Olympic Athletes and Professional Athletes.  The training routines are extremely rigorous and often very hard to even finish.  Athletes were actually waiting for me to get there as I arrived a little late from supporting my wife running her 9th half marathon in Calgary, Alberta.  Many of the athletes came over and said how much they loved “The Stick”.  The loved how The Stick helped them with their sore muscles, trigger points and recovery.

These CrossFit athletes were unique in that they were after a Stick that would penetrate deep into their muscles.  Most of the athletes had very thick and well-developed muscles.  As a result, I distributed more Stiff Sticks and Sprinter Sticks than I have at any other event.  I can safely say that Crossfit athletes love The Stick!  In fact, I sold out of all the Stiff Sticks that I had on hand.

The difference between a Stiff Stick and a Sprinter Stick is that the Stiff Stick is longer and more Stiff than the Sprinter Stick.  The Stiff Stick would suite people who are taller who want to get at their back and shoulders as well as their legs and arms.  It is for thick, heavy muscles.  The Sprinter Stick is the stiffest Stick in the short models of Sticks.

For more information about the types of Sticks, you can visit our website. We have a video and a table that explains which Stick is correct for a given body type.

Swimmers Love The Stick

25 Apr

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Last weekend, I helped a local massage therapist (Monique Klein of Just What You Knead Massage Therapy)  offer support to the Alberta Masters Provincial Swim Meet.  The event was hosted in Okotoks, Alberta and showcased the top masters swimmers in the province.  In fact, I spent much of the day speaking with a past Olympian and swim coach.  I learned a lot about swimming and more about coaching!   

Basically, I set up on the side of the pool and offered people some soft tissue relief and advice.  I worked on some people, while I gave others tips on nutrition, hydration and most importantly recovery.  The Stick is an excellent tool for recovery because you can use it to roll out your muscles while stretching them at the same time.   

My set-up at the pool

 

 Many athletes came by to use The Stick as a warm-up and cool-down tool for their races.  Since most of the athletes had multiple races, The Stick was a great tool for them to stay warm and ready to race without expending a lot of energy in an extended warm-up.  They simply could roll out their muscles to maintain their preferred level of readiness.   

Needless to say most swimmers were after some advice and relief for shoulder related stresses and injuries.  Specifically, many had rotator cuff issues.  Sometimes the head of the biceps tendon can be bothersome to people who have shoulder problems.  That is where  the TriggerWheel came in.  I used the TriggerWheel to roll over the insertion point of the biceps tendon to help break down scar tissue, offer increased blood flow and consequently “made their shoulders feel better”.  The TriggerWheel offers pinpoint accuracy.   The best compliment I got was “now I can take care of this on my own”.  That is just it…..with this simple to use massage tool, people can manage their soft tissue issues on their own.  This is not to say that they should stop seeing a trained professional, it just means that they can get some relief by working on themselves.  

TriggerWheel

 

  Other swimmers were needing help with their upper back and shoulder area, so I showed them how to use The Stick on their backs.  First, I rolled them out, then I demonstrated on myself, then I let them roll out their own sore muscles.  Here are a few simple photos:  

  

  I know these pictures don’t look like they are taken on the side of a pool, but they represent how you can use The Stick on your upper back and trapezius areas.  

    

    

All and all, I had a great day hanging out with swimmers!!

Relieving Sore, Tired Legs with The Stick

6 Apr

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I knew that when we took our kids to Disneyland, we would all have sore, tired legs at the end of each day.  That is why we packed a massage stick before we left.  My wife loves the Marathon Stick, I like it too and it has the perfect flex for working on our kids legs.  Now you are probably wondering how one Stick can help 4 different people?   

It is easy, my wife prefers the Marathon Stick because she can flex the stick around her muscles.  The Marathon Stick has lots of flex, so it is gentle for our 6 year old twins.  I like a deeper massage, so I simply slide one of my hands up the spindles to make the Marathon Stick more stiff.  

Marathon Stick

 

 Once we returned back to our hotel room, we would all take turns rolling out our legs before we went to bed at night.  Not only did we sleep well, the kids did not wake up complaining that their legs hurt.  This meant my wife and I got more sleep and were able to deal better with the mayhem at Disney.  In addition, when we woke up for the next day(s), our legs were refreshed and ready to go!  

 Needless to say, we do not go anywhere with a Stick!  

 On a side note, we did forget to bring the FootWheel, which would have relieved our sore tired feet better than using The Stick.  

The FootWheel

Here is a picture of how to use The Stick on your feet.  Just raise it off the ground or leave it on the ground and roll your feet over your Stick.  

Rolling your feet out using The Stick.

A Review of The Marathon Stick

14 Mar

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Here is a review done by Phong Chieng of The Trail Running Blog.

Phong writes a great review of The Marathon Stick.  Here are some highlights:

“An important running accessory that I’ve started using in my daily routine is the Marathon Stick, a very simple and easy-to-use self-massaging tool to help alleviate sore muscles and speed recovery.”

“It is a very versatile tool, which can be worked on almost all muscle groups. Because of these features, the price makes The Stick worth it if you consider how much just one session with a masseuse will cost.”

Lower Body Warm-Up – Using The Stick

27 Feb

In his article “Lower Body Warm-Up – 10 Minutes to Better Performance!“, Nick Tumminello gives loads of information on how to warm-up.

In fact, his article is jam packed with information, I could not keep it to myself.  Not only does he use The Stick, but he also gives a specific routine to perform.

Nick goes into deep detail on his 3 Key Points to an Effective Warm-up:

3 Key Points to an Effective Warm-up:

  • Key Point #1 – Use Unilateral Movements
  • Key Point #2 – Do stuff you wouldn’t normally do!
  • Key Point #3 – Use your warm-up as an assessment!

The article has loads of great information and videos as well.

It looks like the Original Body Stick is being used by a fairly big guy.  I am impressed with this article and it is must read.  Please click on the link above.

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Tennis Players Love The Stick

24 Feb

Brent Abel of Brent Abel’s Web Tennis has written an awesome article about using The Stick.

He starts of by saying:

“I swear this is the single greatest product for maintaining healthy legs and lower back and to help you treat injuries uch as plantar fasciitis, patellar tendonitis, Achilles tendonitis, hamstring pulls/tears, lower back, glutes, even shoulder and elbow injuries.

There is no question in my mind that I am simply playing better tennis over the past year or so because I have finally found something that helps me stay stretched out.

And the difference to me is what I just stated – staying stretched out.”

He has a great way of explaining how he uses Te Stick to improve his tennis game.  H finishes with these words and a fantastic video that you can see here:

“And yet, I’m not always in a place every few hours where I can lie down on a comfortable mat and stretch for 10 minutes.

But I now carry around in my tennis bag (for use at the courts and for use when I’m at home or on the road) “The Stick” which is my answer for being to able to maintain a stretch in my legs, my glutes, and my lower back.

This thing is fantastic and if you haven’t tried one yet, you’ve got to do yourself a favor and get the benefits of what “The Stick” can do for you and your tennis game…”

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You Gotta See This Great Video About The Stick

18 Feb

This video from Pirates of Fitness is excellent. 

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Studies That Support The Stick

15 Feb

I have finished posting all the third party studies that have been published about The Stick

I believe the research studies speak for themselves.  You can check them all out here:

Research Studies

 

 

Florida State University Study on Flexibility, Power and Speed

Intracell Therapy:  An Effective Tool Against the Pain of Fibromyalgia

 

Modulation of Muscle Pain and Tissue Compliance

The Indiana University Study on Muscle Strength, Power and Endurance

 

Intracell technology Increases Grip Strength

Intracell – Instrument of Choice in the Management of Myofascial Back Pain

 

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A Review of the Marathon Stick

17 Jan
Marathon Stick

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 I just found this review of The Marathon Stick done by Amature Endurance – A Trusted Resource for Amature Athletes.

Here are some highlights:

“The Marathon Stick is one of my favorite accessories for runners. The product itself is very simple and easy to use. I like to use it after my workouts and races to massage my muscles.”

“In my opinion, this is a required running accessory unless you have a masseuse you can see regularly. It is very easy to use and easy to take with you anywhere. Sore muscles are a part of being an endurance athlete and I have found the Stick to be a great way to help get rid of sore muscles faster than other similar products.”

“In terms of price and quality. You get what you pay for. The Stick may seem expensive but it is a lot cheaper than getting a massage. I have been using the Stick for a couple years now and it works just as good as the first day I used it.”

To see the entire post and the video click here.

In Alberta, Canada ….you can pick up a Marathon Stick here.

Embarrassing Moments in the Gym

16 Jan

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Being embarrassed in the gym is nothing new, but I think this is funny stuff!  In fact, it got me thinking of my gym experiences like dumping my water bottle everywhere or not being able to figure out a machine or when I dropped a weight stack.

Anyway, here are 10 embarrassing moments in the gym:

1. Passing Gas

2. Falling off the Treadmill

3. Gym Machine Confusion

4. Wardrobe Malfunction

5. Tripping, Slipping or Hurting Yourself

6. Throwing Up

7. Lifting Too Much Weight

8. Sweating in Embarrassing Places

9. Seeing Your Boss Naked

10. Realizing You Have Two Left Feet

I would also like to add another one of mine – thinking that spending 45min on different tricep exercises would make my arms huge.   You see in University, our professor told my best Buddie and I that if you want big arms, then work on triceps because there are 3 heads, not 2 like biceps!!

I also think someone should start a list of embarrassing moments that you feel embarrassed for someone else!  I mean I remember the guy who would not stop grunting matter what weight he was lifting.  Or the the guy who insisted on walking around with his shirt off.  I even remember a lady breaking out her “workout gear” from 20 years earlier.

The 10 embarrassing moments are expanded on in this article.  In fact for each moment, the author offers suggestions on how to deal with it!

Fell free to make a comment below.

Part 2 Just came out!!

10 Most Annoying Gym Personalities: Tips on Proper Gym Etiquette Part 2

In no particular order, here is a list of the most annoying gym goers:

1. The American Idol

2. The Boneparte

3. The Kanye West

4. The Perez Hilton

5. The Screamer

6. The Backstage Ass

7. The Chris Benoit

8. The Uninvited Expert

9. The Rico Suave

10. The Bar Star

To read the full descriptions and how to deal with these annoying people click here!

A Gift of Health – The Stick

5 Jan

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Here is an article posted on Telegraph.co.uk.  The title is:                                                                                                 

Give him the gift of health

A gizmo that’s good for you – what more could a man ask? We test the latest hi-tech, healthy gadgets

The Stick

Perfect for runners who complain about their aches and pains

£31.99, from www.the-stick.co.uk and branches of Runners Need (020 7278 9486, runnersneed.co.uk)

One of the nicest things about taking part in the Great South Run earlier this year was the post-race massage. An army of physios were on hand to rub away the aches, which really did help. Alas, attempts at persuading my partner to massage the knots away are not always successful. And splashing out on a sports massage is a bit of an extravagance. So this Christmas, I’m hoping for a new piece of kit called the Stick, so I can do the job myself.

Shaped like a magic wand, the flexible rod is made up of spindles that roll independently of each other. The idea is to hold it at either end and roll it up and down the core muscles of the legs.

It can be used before exercise to loosen muscles or as a recovery tool afterwards. Flexing the stick around the leg ensures that pressure is applied evenly across the spindles, so they work like the kneading fingers of an expert masseur. And it achieves the same result – restoring life to damaged muscle tissue. This isn’t something I’d normally buy myself – which makes it the ideal gift. And as staying injury-free is a constant battle, the Stick could be a very useful weapon in my armoury.

Tarquin Cooper

Click here to see the whole article

You may also wan to check out the blog post – The Gift That Keeps on Roll’n!

Road Cycling Magazine Thinks The Stick Is Great

4 Jan

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Here are some highlights from the most recent edition of Road Cycling – New Zealand’s online cycling magazine.

Ben (the author of the article) said:

“Overall this product gets a thumbs up from RoadCycling.co.nz. 

Over the last four weeks I have been using The Stick most days and it has certainly uncovered a number of knots that have needed some serious attention.

 The knee pain is now all but gone and the legs are feeling better and better every day.”

“The Stick is a fairly simple device that you can just throw into your bag and take anywhere, meaning you never need to be without a device to roll your muscles.  This is a big benefit over large foam rollers which many athletes use.”

The article states:

“These studies have proven a 64% increase in flexibility from the use of The Stick is achievable, translating into more power and speed in the muscles. 

The general instructions were to use the stick by rolling over each muscle group for about 20 passes or about 30 seconds per area. When I found a sore point in the muscle, being a bump or knot, I was told to apply a little more attention to this area until it was gone.

 There were more than a few sore points in my legs and I was happy to start working them away.

 The rolling action of The Stick helps to remove knots through compression and stretching, promoting a healthy blood supply which assists natural recovery and health of the muscle.

 The advice in the instructions was to use The Stick in the morning, just before you go to bed, or in fact anytime you want your muscles to feel better.”

The entire article can be found here.

Pick up a Stick in New Zealand  www.thestick.co.nz

Can’t Sleep? Try a Massage

3 Jan

Sleepless Nights? Try a Massage

By Daisy Sutherland

 Do you suffer from sleepless nights? You are not alone sleep disorders are very common. Most people do not realize that massage can in fact help improve your sleep. Massage therapy is a known method to reduce stress and tension, but can it actually help with your sleep disorders? Research shows that massage therapy can remedy your sleepless nights.

 Our bodies have an autonomic system that is made of two parts: the sympathetic and parasympathetic system. The parasympathetic system keeps the sympathetic system balanced. When you are stressed the sympathetic system is triggered and you will feel the sensation of fight or flight. The parasympathetic system is activated during a massage and allows your body to slow down and relax. If stress or tension are causes for your sleeplessness you will be relieved to know that one of the benefits of massage enhanced sleep patterns. Many actually fall asleep while having a professional massage.

 Massage helps to reduce stress, improve circulation, soothe aching muscles, release tension and reduce or lower your blood pressure. It is thought that it can also stimulate the immune system. These relaxing results may therefore make massage a helpful aid in restoring restful sleep. Massage is even more beneficial when restless nights stem from stress, migraine headaches, and pain and muscle stiffness. Several studies have shown massage therapy to not only lessen lower back pain and headaches, but also by reducing the stress, anxiety and depression making restful sleep achievable. (Hernandez-Reif et al, 2001; Sunshine et al, 1996; Field et al, 2002; Hernandez-Reif et al, 1998)

 Sleep is required for the immune system to work at its optimum level. If the immune system is compromised, the ability of our body to heal itself is also compromised. If we are stressed or sleep deprived, our health is seriously compromised. Massage can help relieve the stress and tension. Massage does not necessarily need to be done by a professional to capture all its benefits. You can ask your friend, partner, spouse or family member for a soothing rubdown. You can also give yourself a mini massage, concentrating on the muscle groups you can reach.

 Relaxation techniques, such as massage therapy can definitely reduce stresses, and frustrations leading to the tossing and turning and anxiety of sleepless nights. Therapeutic massage can have not only external physical benefits but internal benefits as well. Massage and aromatherapy can relax your muscles and help with blood and lymph circulation. A massage can help reduce the nerve irritation and can help with increased production of pain-killing endorphins. There are many sweet smelling balms and massage oils on the market used to relieve stress. The aroma and the feel of the oils offer a calming and relaxing environment.

 There are different types of therapeutic massage techniques that can help and some are listed below.

Reflexology: This type of massage focuses on specific ‘reflex zones’ on your feet. This type of massage relieves  tension and pain and improves circulation in the areas of your body that corresponds to the reflex zones of the feet.

Sports Massage: This type of massage improves athletic performance and endurance by massaging specific  muscles, tendons and ligaments.

Neuromuscular Massage: This massage type focuses on the connective tissues, tendons and ligaments and nerves. This particular massage focuses on the tension areas called ‘trigger points’.

Swedish Massage: This massage has a smooth and flowing style. It focuses on overall relaxation, circulation, and range of motion and relieves muscular tension.

Rolfing: This massage is not as relaxing it tends to be more painful. IT is painful because it focuses on the deeper soft tissues of the joints.

 Some areas to concentrate on when massaging to promote relaxation and restful sleep are the temples of the head. The motion should be small circular movement done with fingers and hands. Another areas to promote relaxation are the scalp, forehead, face, neck and upper shoulders. Much of our stress is carried in the shoulder area, so relaxing and massaging this area will definitely create relief.

 There are many reasons that massage and sleep make a perfect match: 

  • Eliminates headaches
  • Relieves stress
  • Reduces muscle tension
  • Reduces lower pain and strain
  • Relaxes nervous tension
  • Increases blood circulation
  • Eases chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Assists with weight control

 After a relaxing massage, sleep will be restored as a time of rest instead as a time of restlessness. Be sure to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration and help with the release and filtration of toxins. You will feel more relaxed with reduced stress and tension and be able to sleep all night long. You will wake up refreshed and ready to start a new day.

Dr. Mommy (aka Dr. Daisy) is a Doctor of Chiropractic by profession, wife, mom to 5 beautiful children, freelance and content writer, speaker and Health/Wellness Advocate. Her passion is to teach the public how to live healthier and happier lives. Visit her site for health tips: Dr. Mommy Health Tips http://drmommyhealthtips.com

 Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Dr._Daisy_Sutherland

 Tip: The Stick is an excellent tool for self-massage.  Try rolling out before you go to bed!
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Another Testimonial About The Stick

31 Dec

Here is another testimonial about The Stick.   Susan is a soccer coach and runner.  She wanted a Body Stick for Christmas to give to her son.  She could not wait and opened it early!!

Susan Langdon – Soccer Coach and Runner

OKay, so I opened the stick before I wrapped it and tried it out last night. MOST AMAZING TOOL EVER!! Now I don’t really want to wrap it up, and I really really don’t waznt to share it! Thanks for a wonderful product!

 

 

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Ultra Marathon Training Tips

29 Dec

I agree with everything Paul James wrote on his blog about training tips.  Here is a quick synopsis of what he wrote:

Here are his top tips and experiences:

1. Get a plan and stick to it – Plan your training.

2. Running efficiency/ technique  – Chi running video.

3. Higher stride rate/ cadence – Chi running video.

4.  One intense workout per week – A 45min run at a faster pace than the other runs

5. Cross training – Add a tramp (hiking), spin class, bike some hills, or go for a swim a few times a week.

6. Stretching key muscle groups – hamstrings, calf, gluts, and hip flexors almost daily

7. Good posture – Chi running video.

8. Rest is important – You need a break so take a break.

9. Training plans are just a guide –  Train to your limits and listen to what your body is telling you.

10. Nutrition – It’s not rocket science and is simple to understand.

11. Sports massage – Flushing muscle waste helps recovery and growth.

12. Tapering – Enjoy the taper- it is the time where you can relax and mend.

13. Walking is ok:) Things might get a bit much…..so walk for a bit.

As you can see, there are some good tips here while training.  His full article can be seen here.  James has also posted videos to go along with his explanations.

What I like most about his tips is they are all easy to follow and no hocus pocus.  I also love the fact the he includes massage into his training regime. “Flushing muscle waste helps recovery and growth. A good deep tissue massage also acts like the ultimate stretch and gets to parts that solo stretching can’t get to. If it was not for trigger point and deep tissue massages I would not have overcome my ITB syndrome and then onto completing my training. I can’t recommend a good sports massage enough! Just remember that once you start you won’t be able to stop…it’s that good!”

The Stick is an excellent tool to manage ITB Syndrome as well as offering a deep massage.  The Stick is also awesome for flushing muscle waste!

Original Body Stick

 

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IT Band and The Stick – More Good Information!

23 Dec

I just found another great blog article on how to take care of your IT Band issues!

It is called “Every runners nemesis: ITB Syndrome” – by Dr. Bobbie Bennett

Dr. Bennet writes about self-treatment and also Active Release Technique.

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More Positive Comments About The Stick

10 Dec

Here are some more comments I found on a Runner’s World forum about The Stick.

The summary of the main question was:  What do you use for sore muscles!  The Stick? Active-Response-Therapy(self-massage)or do you get regular massages?

“Own and use the Stick often.  Have gotten about 5 massages in my lifetime but still a little weirded out about it.  Massage does work! ”

“All of the above! I’ve been getting ART (active release technique) done since February, try to get a sports massage once per month (my masseuse is also a runner) and have the stick.”

 “I used The Stick for the first time in a year yesterday! Plus a little self massage. It definitely helped my soreness. I get maybe 1-2 massages per year. I’d get more if it were in the budget. It seems I’ve finally kicked my piriformis issue and with my ankle feeling better I may be able to avoid the chiropractor for ART.”

“I use the stick, foam roll, massage… you name it. It blows my mind that I get injured when I’m so diligent about stretching and foam rolling after runs.”

“I use the foam roller 6-7 days a week and the Stick on occasion.  I have went to my sports massage therapist around 8 times in the past 6 months for trigger point therapy.  If it wasn’t $85/hour I would see her every other week because my legs feel GREAT walking out of the place.”

” I have and use the Stick, foam roller, frozen water bottles for ice massage, a couple ART sessions.  PT is just down the hall from me so I sneak in there when I need to and have them work on me if needed with ultrasound, ice massage, manipulation.”

“For sore muscles I do NSAIDS every once in a while after a tough run.  I have the stick and a foam roller, but haven’t used them since the hammie started quieting down.  Can’t justify massage while I’m unemployed.”

“I love massages but don’t get them often enough.”

“foam roller, the stick, stretching, pt exercises. I’ve done sport massage in the past which is very helpful, though painful at the time. ”

” I use the stick and a tennis ball. I love getting massages but I do feel a little weird about someone else working for my relaxation.”

“What don’t I do?!  use the stick regularly- on running and non-running days; foam roll daily; PT (deep tissue massage and then some) once a week; tennis ball self-massage daily; BF has learned how to give deep tissue massage/do myofascial release and lately that’s 1-3x/week.  Ice, TENS machine, stretching/yoga are regulars also.  Used to get ART but haven’t done that since July.  Wish I could get regular massages but $$ limits that.”

“I stick myself on a regular basis…when I ran on a regular basis. oh, and ice baths for hard runs or LR’s 15+, definitely.”

Summary:  The Stick is very popular with runners!!

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