Some people are skipping traditional masseuses or massage equipment, saying all you need to ease your pain is right in your garage.
When Georgia Mergner needs a little help relieving sore muscles, the college athlete simply powers up some power tools, like a standard car buffer from the hardware store. “I really like the car buffer a lot. My quads get really sore and then it’s really great.”
Georgia learned about the tools from her school’s head strength coach Bill DeLongis. He discovered other trainers using them online. There are demos all over social media.
In addition to the buffer, Bill uses a filed-down and cushioned jigsaw that he fashioned through trial and error to massage his athletes. “We make it safe,” Bill says. “And I've been using the ‘jigsage’, which is what I like to call it; I’ve been using it for going on almost two years now, and I’ve never had an issue. And it gets used all the time.”
Why are some trainers, physical therapists, and even consumers using the tools on muscles? DeLongis says, they’re at least half off the price of ordinary massage devices and he says they work just as well. “Love them for the warmups just to warm the muscle up and loosen any knots, adhesions that you might have,” Bill explains.
However, Anne Williams, the Director of Education for The Associated Body Work and Massage Professionals, says a traditional hand massage is safer and more effective.
According to Anne, “When you're a massage therapist you're constantly aware of what's happening in the tissue, you're palpating the tissue, you're feeling for anomalies in tissue. There’s no way that a machine can do that.”
A spokesperson for the maker of a power tool sometimes used for personal massage says, “We do not condone the use of the tools in such a manner, from a safety perspective.”
DeLongis agrees safety is a concern and advises using these power tools for massages under the direction of a professional.
Georgia was initially intimidated, but learned from her trainer and is ready to stay powered up. “Be careful, and talk to someone who knows what they’re doing,” Georgia advises. “But, I would definitely recommend it.”
DeLongis says the power tools are just part of the devices he uses on his athletes and advocates traditional tools and using a traditional masseuse.
Remember, if you use the power tools for massage, it is NOT the intended use of the tools. There are no safety standards for the altered devices.