Tag Archives: self-massage

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!

‘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.

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!!

Another Video About “The Stick”

1 Feb

OK, it is officially video post days here at Zealous Vitality!  I will be posting more videos every couple of days. 

Here is one from the World Run Day On-line Expo.  This video has 1751 views on YouTube.

The Stick as a Self-Massage Tool

30 Dec

When it comes to massage therapy, there are many, many types (to name a few):

  • Swedish Massage
  • Tai Massage
  • Aromatherapy Massage
  • Hot Stone Massage
  • Shiatsu
  • Deep Tissue Massage
  • Sports Massage

Click here to see the 10 Most Popular Types Of Massage Therapy – By About.com

Whatever your reason is for getting a massage is up to you.  I can tell you that The Stick is the the next best thing to human touch.  The big difference is, you do not need to leave the comfort of your own home to have a massage.  It breaks down trigger points (knots) and relieves tight, sore muscles in no time flat.

Now let’s talk about self-massage.  That is treating yourself with massage therapy techniques.  Reader’s Digest.com has a very popular article called Learn the Art of Self-Massage.  The article is filled with tips and tricks for taking care of yourself.  I actually counted over 12 different tools or devices that they suggest to give yourself a massage.  Honestly, all you really need 1 tool – The Stick.

The Stick – “Rehab Product of the Week”

23 Dec

Mike Reinold in his Plays of the Week Article has named The Stick as the Rehab Product of the Week.

Mike has created a blog for the discussion of current concepts and recent advances in orthopedics & sports medicine for physical therapists, athletic trainers, & other rehabilitation specialists.  His work looks fantastic.

Here is a short exert : “This week’s Rehab Product of the Week is the Massage Stick.  These little guys are excellent devices to perform deep manual massage techniques as a clinician as well as self-massage at home for the patient. ”

To read more, click here.

The Stick and Fibromyalgia

13 Dec

Fibromyalgia can be debilitating to say the least!!

Currently, I have spoken to many people about Fibromyalgia and have found that using The Stick can be extremely beneficial.  Here are some common FAQ’s about Fibromyalgia taken from RPI of Atlanta, the creators of The Stick and Intracell Technology.

Q: What is Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS)?

A: The condition can affect people in many different ways, however the major symptoms include diffuse muscular pain, ache, soreness and stiffness. Frequently waking during sleep and rising unrefreshed are companion symptoms. Memory loss and irritable bowel complaints are other symptoms that often accompany fibromyalgia syndrome.

Q: Is FMS difficult to diagnose?

A: Since the official criteria for diagnosis were established in 1990, it is said that FMS can be identified with an 88% accuracy.

Q: How does the healthcare practitioner diagnose FMS?

A: By performing a thorough history and examination. The diagnosis of FMS does not rely on laboratory findings or radiographic studies, but on a physical examination that must demonstrate diagnostic pain in at least 11 of 18 characteristic tender point sites. The tender point locations are actually 9 on each side of the body to total 18. The patient history must document widespread pain of at least 3 months duration. Widespread refers to right and left side of the body, above and below the waist, including the anterior and posterior axial skeleton.

Q: What is meant by diagnostic pain?

A: As the examiner presses or palpates the tender point site, diagnostic pain will occur with roughly 4 kilograms of pressure. If you press down with your thumb until you notice a blanching of your nail, then you have applied roughly 4 kilograms of pressure. This is known as the “Yunus Rule of Thumb”, from Muhammad Yunus, MD who published the first controlled study on Fibromyalgia in 1981.

Q: Are tender points and trigger points the same thing?

A: A safe and easy way to differentiate between the two is by pain patterns. Remember, the pain of fibromyalgia syndrome is widespread, hence the tender points will also be widespread. Trigger point pain is found in a condition known as myofascial pain syndrome which may be highly localized or regional. An active trigger point will also refer pain when deeply palpated, while a tender point is more likely to just cause more pain at the local site. Also, the prognosis for trigger points is more favorable than tender points.

Q: Do muscle spasms occur in Fibromyalgia Syndrome?

A: When examining muscles of the FMS patient they often feel tight and like a rope that is twisted and knotted. These shortened muscles and twisted fascia biomechanically compromise blood supply to the area. Remember that fascia has a tensile strength of 2000 pounds per square inch; it’s no wonder noncompliant muscles feel so tight when they are palpated. Without a copious blood supply muscles can not relax enough to recover, therefore the FMS patient exhibits a persistent low energy level regardless of their dietary habits. Remember it takes as much energy to relax a muscle as it does to work a muscle.

Q: What does noncompliant muscle mean to the FMS patient?

A: In order to understand the role of noncompliant or unhealthy muscle it is necessary to discuss complaint or healthy muscle. Compliant muscle can be stretched, shortened, twisted or compressed without restriction or pain. It exhibits good circulation, flexibility, strength and endurance. On the other hand non-compliant tissue is stiff, tender and sore with a feeling of painful knots or tight bands in the muscle. Noncompliant muscle also exhibits poor circulation, reduced flexibility, weakness and it easily fatigues. It is susceptible to injury in the same way a worn tire invites a blowout. Remember, the way we diagnose the FMS patient is by compressing noncompliant muscle at characteristic spots.

Q: Does therapeutic massage or myofascial release help the FMS patient?

A: Frequent use of myofascial release or therapeutic massage is the secret to the management of symptoms. The Intracell Stick allows the FMS patient to self-manage symptoms, between clinic visits, with a high degree of accuracy. Waiting for an appointment to get help, often triggers an unnecessary flare up for the patient.

Q: Can Fibromyalgia Syndrome be cured?

A: At present there is no cure for the syndrome. Dr. Stuart Silverman is quoted as saying, “Tricyclic drugs can be used to improve the quality of sleep or reduce pain sensitivity, but they are only mildly effective in alleviating the symptoms.” On the brighter side, Dr. Andrew Bonci, Professor, Department of Diagnoses at Cleveland College states,” advances in exercise science and manual medicine are evolving practical and promising solutions for the fibromyalgia patient.”

Q: How does the healthcare practitioner attract FMS patients to his or her office?

A: One of the best ways is to contact a local support group and request to speak at one of the meetings. If you don’t speak, go listen . . . you can learn a great deal about this condition from the ones who have it.

A great resource:

I have also found a fantastic resource called the Fibromyalgia Journal that has everything you want to know about the syndrome.

In particular, I was most interested in the information concerning myofascial release and trigger points.  Here is a quick exert:

The goal of myofascial release is to release fascial restrictions and allow the layers to move freely, thus allowing the muscles to shorten as well as to lengthen, as they should in a healthy human body.” – To read more click HERE.

Here is another great article I found – Fibromyalgia Syndrome & Trigger Points

To summarize, The Stick is an excellent tool for for people who suffer from Fibromyalgia.  This is because The Stick has the ability to break down trigger points and help to heal myofascia by increasing circulation and relieving pain.

 Visit www.TheStick.ca

Taking care of yourself or others.

28 Oct

What does health mean to you?  Is it the way you feel?  Is it the way others see you?  Is health a state of being or is it just a measure of you life expectancy?  I heard one funny saying that explains health “as the speed in which one can age or how long they will live or the rate of when they would die.”  However you view your health, I am sure you think of many factors that influence your own personal health or the health of your loved ones and friends.

What do you do to maintain a level of health that allows you to perform daily activities efficiently and effectively?  Do you eat well?  Do you get enough sleep?  Do you exercise on a daily basis?  How is your oral health?  One of the most important question in today’s society is how is your mental health?  What do you do to relieve stress?  Your answers to these questions are personal, but you should do a  self-check every once and awhile!!

I would like you to think about massage for a moment.  Mostly everyone knows you can go for a massage.  What if you could save a load of time and money and massage yourself?  This is known as Self-Massage.  You would feel better, be less stressed, stimulate your circulatory system, and relax more.  These are only a few fringe benefits of performing self-massage.  What about the time and effort that you put into yourself?  That is a true investment!

The Stick can do all this and more for yourself.  I encourage you to read more articles I have posted on this blog.

Tell me about your Stick!

6 Oct

One of the most often asked question that I get is something along the lines of “OK, I believe in The Stick, now which one should I get?”

I answer everyone the same way…”The one that feels best for you!”

There are however, some basic guidelines.  Factors such as body composition and intended use are very important when making a decision of which Stick to purchase.  Each Stick is a different length and has different flexibility.  In short, the longer the Stick, the more versatile it is.  The stiffer the Stick, the deeper penetration of massage can be achieved.

Some people like the versatility of the longer models.  Others like the travel-ability of the shorter models.  Either way, The Stick is an extremely useful tool to muscle health.

Please visit this page: “Pick a Stick” from my website :  ZealousVitality.ca

Post a comment and tell others why you use The Stick that you do!




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What can The Stick do for me?

30 Sep

 By rolling your muscles with The Stick you can:

 

→Improve Strength

→Increase Flexibility

→Extend Endurance

→Accelerate Recovery Time

→Reduce Muscle Soreness, Stiffness & Pain

→Prepare Muscle for Rigors of Activity

→Flush Muscle from Rigors of Activity

 

How and why does this happen?

 

The simple answer is….. A Healthy Muscle is a Responsive Muscle!!

The more complex answer is….. When muscles are sore, they are recovering from injury.  An injured muscle cannot perform the same as a healthy muscle.  In most cases, if treatment is not applied to an injured muscle, another injury may take place.

 

More precisely……. Trigger points (knots) and lesions (tears) can form in a muscle from a result of excersice or activity. It is well known that massage and self-massage techniques are applied to repair muscles that are injured and sore.  By using The Stick muscle soreness and further injury can be addressed and treated.

 

Please visit www.ZealousVitality.ca for more details.

  

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