Hello! Salut! (shout out to my friend Mavis who’s learning French. You’re doing so good!!) Hola!
If you clicked on a link to site, it’s probably because you got a sharp pinch in between your shoulder blades or your neck is stuck and you have a hard time even just sitting down and trying to read this article because your MUSCLES hurt. (I feel for you brother/sister, I really do. Muscles spasms are not fun.)
So being a massage therapist, I bust my body up every day working (also playing sports) and I can’t always afford 100 dollars per hour treatments whenever I have a kink in a muscle. I’m not also willing to sit here and save up these knots for a harvesting day by another massage therapist. I want relief now and I want it gone tomorrow. The case is the same for many of my clients.
One of the many handy dandy tools that I use to keep my muscles loose and functioning well – is the wonderful Theracane. It’s exactly what it’s name suggests – it’s a therapy… cane (tada!)
There a couple of brands there. Brands like…
and even this mother of all canes.
Price ranges from 40+ to even 100+ dollars for these plastic sticks of goodness (click the names above for each prices) . In my honest opinion, (which is what you will get every time you read my articles! ), they all pretty much can get the job done, so don’t break the bank for something that may see the inside of your closet more than your muscles. Use it if you buy it! I personally got the Theracane, because I believe they were the first to do it and I like buying the original products. Just something feels right about them. The quality of it is great too. Not too sturdy and not too bendy such that it will break with firm leverage.
Now, I am one of those lacrosse ball preachers who swear by the use of a lacrosse ball to release tight muscles and soft tissues ( I even made my own “peanuts” using tape and 2 lacrosse balls!). But I can’t get down and dirty on the ground all the time to get certain muscles, and that’s where the Theracane can be a better tool.
By using the cane’s 6 knobs and applying forces to your body using leverage, you can get pressure that’s pretty similar to your massage therapist’s thumb on his or her best day. It’s no RMT though mind you, it really is simply a piece of plastic that you can use to find those specifically contracted and firm areas that just won’t relax on it’s own and could use a little help. It’ll be better if you do it after a hot bath or a shower as well, warm soft muscles comply a lot better than cold stiff ones during a treatment. The hard part is sustaining that pressure by yourself, trying to relax while using the body is tricky but with some breathing techniques and repeating it daily, it does get easier.
You can use it mostly on hard to reach areas like your mid back, neck, hips, lower back. You can pretty much get to most muscles – just have to get creative on positioning and make sure you’re safe. They even have a manual they sell online, but I think if you tinker with it for a bit, you can figure out how to use it. Pretty easy stuff. I’ll post stuff on here too from time to time for techniques on individual muscles. If you find that you’re too sore or the muscles won’t relax even after holding it for a couple of minutes, that’s probably an indication that one of three basic things may be happening.
1. It’s not the source of the tension (could be related to the joints – if the joints are out of place, the muscles go under guarding and spasm until that joint misalignment is corrected – time to visit the chiropractor Jim.) Also, could be other organs or systemic conditions interfering with the muscles. You’ll need more than a plastic stick to fix those (lifestyle changes, nutritional changes, stress management, et cetera.)
2. You’re pushing too hard. Go slow. Slower the better. Go for that “oh it hurts so good” vs “No pain, no gain boys and girls!” mentality. The muscles need a good amount of pressure but they don’t need more pain. And neither do you. It might be intense at first but work your way into it. You don’t kiss your loved ones like you want to suffocate them.. right?! Same for your lovely traps, lats, deltoids.. you name it.
3. Give yourself a bit of good old fashioned rest. If your body is so low on energy, it won’t accept any external treatments or pressures trying to change the body. Sleep first, magic plastic cane treatment later.
It’s a pretty solid investment if you ask me. It helps me on a day to day basis – especially with my neck and mid back. It tends to tense up a lot due to lots of hunching from massage and from reading and whatnot. (Also a super common stress area for many many human beings as well.)
In conclusion, the more in touch and connected we are with our body – muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments, fascia, et cetera – the better we feel. It’s neglect and ignorance of our one and only bodies that brings about periods of pain when the body is sending all these signals that something needs to be addressed. These canes are one of many great tools to help you bring awareness into those deep muscles which have been sleeping for a long time. Mind you, the body is a very complicated machine and soft tissues are only one facet of the whole picture. Make sure to talk to professionals and not just that really muscular guy in the gym for all your bodily problems.
If you have any questions or topics you’d like me to cover as a massage therapist. Send me an email at email@example.com and I’d be more than happy to answer them.
Until next time,
Brian Donghui Rim, RMT