Tag Archives: Alberta

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

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

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!

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!

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!!

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.

Peolpe With Diabetes Can Benefit From The Stick.

22 Nov

A couple of weeks ago, I had a display booth at a Diabetic forum in Calgary, Alberta.  There were vendors from all over the place offering information and products to those who have diabetes or are interested in learning more about diabetes. 

I was there with The Stick and related specialty products.  You may be wondering why diabetics would be interested in massage products and devices?   As you may or may not know there are 2 types of diabetes – type 1 and type 2.  Basically type 1 diabetics rely on insulin therapy to control their blood sugar levels.  Type 1 is also known as Juvenile Diabetes.  Type 2 diabetes is mostly controlled by diet and exercise as well as insulin therapy.  I knew there would be more type 2 people than type 1 people because my wife (who has type 1) has been to many of these forums and she mentioned to me that the clientele at the forum would be primarily type 2 diabetics.  Typically, type 2 diabetics have challenges with circulation and nerve pain.  The Stick is the perfect device to increase circulation and help people live a more comfortable life.  As far as nerve pain goes, The Stick can help with that too by allowing the muscles that surround the nerves to become less restricting.  With more blood flow, comes more compliant muscles.  With more compliant muscles, people should feel better!  Nerve pain can also be alleviated by massage therapy.  Again, The Stick is great for massage therapy.

It turns out that the people at the forum loved the idea that they could massage their own muscles in the comfort of their own homes.  They also loved the fact that they did not have to go to the ground to use The Stick or plug it in.  Most people who purchased a Stick liked the Travel Stick or Marathon Stick.  They liked that those sticks offered some flexibility are were not overly rigid. 

Travel Stick

Marathon Stick

People with diabetes can have complications with circulation and nerve pain specifically in their feet.  As a result, people were thrilled to learn that FootWheel could possibly help them.  In fact, by the end of the day, people walked away with more FootWheels than Sticks.  That is right, people purchased more FootWheels than Sticks!!

FootWheel

I am thrilled to be offering products that have so many applications!!

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