Tools

Massage Tools are an an amazing stand in when you can’t make it to your massage therapist. When used properly they can provide you with dramatic pain relief. Tools are widely used by athletes and will aid in your recovery from muscle overuse and lactic acid build up.

The list is extensive so if you are looking for something in particular use the search bar tool on the right.

Our goal is to help you find the right massage techniques and the correct tools to help you achieve pain relief. Thus, we are making a great array of products available for you to choose from and help make your self massage session easier and more effective.

Besides books, there are many great tools such as: Therapy Balls, Massagers, Cushions, Chairs, Heat and Cold Packs, Medicated Lotions, Gadgets for breaking down Trigger Points, Tools for stretching and strengthening, items to help with airplane travel and much more. There is an enormous assortment to fit your specific needs. We have placed everything we could find in one easy place for you to see and study. Let’s get started!

Hot and Cold Therapy 

IceWraps.netWestern medicine preaches the healing powers of cold therapy (aka cryotherapy) and Eastern medicine preaches the healing powers of heat therapy. In the many years we have assisted folks in pain, we have come to the conclusion that both heat and cold therapies have a purpose. There is much confusion and controversy regarding both treatments so use the information provided to decide which is right for you and your particular ailment.

Cold Therapy

Cold Therapy (Cryotherapy) is essential in decreasing inflammation during the acute stage of an injury. The acute stage is the first 24 to 48 hours of when the first symptoms appears.

Cold should be used: If the area is swollen, red, hot and hurts when you move it. Acute stage of an injury such as a twisted ankle, sports injury or tendonitis.

Applying cold slows down pain impulses and draws out excess fluid by vasoconstriction (shrinking the blood vessels) therefore reducing swelling.

How-To: Apply an ice pack to the injured area for 5-15 minutes. ALWAYS use a cloth barrier between your skin and the cold pack to protect your skin.  Ice massage is also another effective way to bring down inflammation quickly and is especially effective for tendonitis.

After 48 hours if the swelling has gone down you can continue with Contrast Therapy and Heat Therapy. People with diabetes should not use heat or cold therapy without the consent of their doctor and careful monitoring of the temperature and length of time used.

These are the least expensive and more popular cold therapy tools on the market. We are always researching for easy to use convenient paks and tools.

Chattnooga Colpac Cold Therapy-Read More & Buy Here

Chattnooga Colpac Cold Therapy-Read More & Buy Here

Cold Pack – ColPaC Brand -Read More & Buy Here

Heat Therapy

Heat therapy (Thermotherapy) is an extremely effective way to reduce muscle tightness and tension. One of the main causes of general muscular pain is a lack of blood flow to the area due to poor circulation, inactivity and repetitive movements.

We recommend heat therapy for dull aches, muscle tightness, joint stiffness, and chronic muscular pain. Heat brings about pain relief by relaxing the muscles and un-sticking the connective tissue.

Applying heat to the painful area will dilate blood vessels and increase fresh, oxygenated blood to flow. This replaces stagnant blood containing metabolic waste products (a result of normal cellular respiration). When built-up waste products are removed your muscle cells can begin to function properly again.

How- To: The easiest way to apply heat is to use a hot water bottle, a heating pad, and the products you see listed below. We have used these products for years in our massage practice and have found them most effective.

Warning: ALWAYS use caution when applying heat. Use a cloth barrier between your skin and the heat source to insure the temperature is not too hot before making contact with skin.

Heat therapy  SHOULD NOT be used during the acute stage of an injury (the first 24-48 hours). See Cold therapy for directions for acute injury. Diabetics should never use these products without approval from their physician.

 

Carex Bed Buddy, Body Wrap

sunbeamwrapSunbeam Renue Heat Therapy Neck and Shoulder Wrap

Moist Heat Therapy Warming Lower Back Wrap

Contrast Therapy

After you have treated the acute stage of the injury with Cold Therapy you can continue with contrast therapy to maximize the healing benefits of your body’s own circulatory system.

Contrast Therapy uses both HEAT causing vasodilation and COLD causing vasoconstriction to increase circulation to the area being treated. Heat increases circulation, oxygen and, nutrition to the cells while cold takes away metabolic waste and debris. Therefore speeding up the rate of healing and mimicking the powerful action of the heart.

How-To: Start with cold for 15 minutes, then take a five minute break and switch to heat for 15 minutes, and take another 5 minute break, and return to cold for another 15 minutes.

Breakdown-  Cold 15 mins, break 5, heat 15mins, break 5, cold 15min

Tools & Gadgets

                                                         

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The TP Therapy Balls are great! These tool actually engages soft tissue and help break down trigger points. It is harder than your standard tennis ball and comes to a gentle point that can address specific areas. The lime green ball is a bit softer thus you have to work a little harder with it if you like deeper pressure. The red ball is firmer and there is no effort to be done. You can feel the deep pressure instantly. (see video here)

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The GRID Foam Roller is a step up from regular rollers because its grooves really help break down knots. (see video on Unusual Father’s Day Blog Post)

 

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The TP Quad Roller is an important tool as tights Quads or upper thigh muscles cause leg, hip and back pain. When you release knots and trigger points in this area you will feel an overall release.

 

The Real Ease Neck and Shoulder is a favorite of ours. We like to use it during a massage for maximum relaxation.  We also like to  keep one near bed for night time reading and relaxation.

 

The Da Vinci Tool has been around for a long time. This is one of our favorite tools in the self-care tool box.  Its easy to use and effective. CLICK HERE for demos on how to use it.

 

The Still Point Inducer was first introduced to me while I was training in Craniosacral Therapy. It is used to bring the the intracranial fluid rhythm to the point of stillness. When this happens all of the neck muscles relax and thus it contributes to pain relief.


YogaToes Gems: Instant Therapeutic Relief For Your Feet is a great tool. I own a pair and so do many of my clients. I sold many before I had a website. They really do help with feet issues! So go ahead and read up about them on Amazon.

Flying Tips & Tools

If you love to travel but hate flying you are not alone. By the time we get to the airport and past security our necks and backs are already tight. If you are traveling economy the seats can be brutal. My frequent traveling clients almost always call me as soon as they land or the day after they get back from their trips. Almost every inch of their bodies are sore and constricted. I believe that if you can make your airplane ride more comfortable and take a few massage tools with you, you can actually leave the plane feeling relatively relaxed. I didn’t include TP Therapy Balls in this selection. I however, find they can be a great item for your back and feet. Take a look and see if you can benefit from any of these. I chose the ones with the best reviews and I plan to try some next time I fly. If you are on the shorter side like me a footrest is a must. I usually spend most of my time pushing myself up while trying to sleep. Let us know what you think.

Therm-a-Rest Travel Cushion is an inflatable cushion you can easily use once you board your flight. This light travel cushion offers both back and leg support to relieve pressure, making long drives and flights more enjoyable. Self-inflating top and bottom pads allows a fine-tuned adjustment and it packs easily in carry-ons for life on the go. It’s light to carry and easy to use. A great seat cushion.

Skyrest Travel Pillow is unique because it allows you to sleep in a forward position. You can cradle it and keep your head forward and rest comfortably. There is a one-way valve which allows for easy and quick inflation and deflation. It can be used by anyone no matter their height. Now thats accommodating, and it  only weighs 20 ounces!

Cushions

What can I say about cushions. They are awesome and once you get used to them they are as indispensable as a best friend. Warm ones, soft ones, vibrating ones, all to support you and bring you in a place of comfort. Most of these are great for office chairs that miss propping up your posture and causing your neck and shoulders to slouch. Sad to say that most office chairs and desk set ups cause a multitude of repetitive strain injuries which I see in my practice on a consistant basis. Most of these products will help you prevent such injuries. These six are my favorite!


Pillows

Pillows are as important as a mattress in order to get a good night’s sleep. Pillows that have lost their support of the neck cause people hours of stiffness and pain. Finding the perfect pillow takes time and research. Luckily there are many wonderful pillows to meet your needs. Whether you’re a side or back sleeper (I don’t encourage stomach sleeping as it keeps your brain from getting enough oxygen and mis-aligns cervical discs in your neck.) You can indeed find a great pillow for that perfect nights sleep. The main criteria is that your neck gets supported at the curve.   Contour Cloud Bed Pillow – Save  10% when you buy 2 and FREE Shipping! PopShops™ affiliate stores

Hand Held

Hand Held Massagers are the best thing after an actual massage. You can use these on yourself or have someone use them on your aching muscles. The Thumper hand held products are great to use yourself. They are not as heavy as the traditional massagers and still work deeply. DO NOT use any massager against the spine or on the joints! PopShops™ affiliate stores  

Do You Suffer Back Pain from Backpacks? – You don’t have to!

  While in massage school we had to decide what to purchase to use for our books. Well, all of us thought the bigger the better would be best. We needed to make room for all the items we had to drag to school on a daily basis. Soon, we learned how certain backpacks put strain on our backs and shoulders, contributing to such issues as Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. Thoracic Outlet Syndrome is a condition involving pain in the neck and shoulder with numbness in the arm and hand. The Outlet is located between front ribcage and collar bone. The nerves can get impinged (pinched) under the collar bone from the continual pressure of imbalanced straps on the backpack. If your backpack is correctly balanced on your body one will not put all the weight on your back and push on the collar bone in a harming way. The best backpacks for bad backs stay on correctly distributing weight evenly. Children should be considered when choosing school bags. To avoid your child from suffering from pain look for ergonomic backpacks. Those on wheels are fabulous for the small child or those with major back, shoulder or neck issues. The High Sierra Freewheel Wheeled Book Bag Backpack has gotten over 300 great reviews on Amazon. It has all the benefits of a carryall. I (Elizabeth)have owned an AirPack Ergonomic Backpack by Core  for over 15 years. I use it to travel and travel heavy at times. This bag allows me to balance my body and roll a suitcase and a dog carrier at the same time pain free. Backpacks with air insulation are the best to keep the bag balanced and places less pressure on the shoulders, underarms, collar bone and lower back.   This backpack has cushioned air filled straps and padding. Investing in a great backpack is essential for students and people who love using them. I was so glad I invested in this bag. I found it balanced the weight for me and I felt an immense difference. Of course no “one” backpack will work for everyone as we have different body types. However, I did find this one to be superior to the cheaper ones you may find everywhere. These were made with a person’s protection in mind. And it still looks great after all these years! Amazon has more colors available.  

Oils & Lotions

Each client has their own personal preference when it comes to massage oils and lotions. We have used most everything on the market. So we selected our favorites below. Pick and choose something that feels healing to you. Its all about you and taking the time to relieve yourself of your pain and discomfort.

Books

It may seem difficult to imagine learning self massage with a book. However, from our research we have found that the authors of the books below are use great diagrams and pictures to articulate their techniques. The books below will give you extra knowledge and understanding of physiology and anatomy. Feel free to let us know if you find any other  great books to add.  Happy reading!

 

 

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