Here are some massage tools and accessories that I think can help some of you in your massages. If you end up using any of these, please let me know about your experience with them. Also, please pay attention to the manufacturers recommendations on how to sue these tools and "do no harm" :-)
I really like the Thumbby Soft Massage Cone! I like it for a lot of reasons, but probably the most relevant reason here is that it will let you generate a lot of pressure without using a lot of force or stressing your joints.
Here is what www.massagemarket.com says about the Thumbby; We therapists at Massage Market are not ones to go wild over a product and show blatant favoritism, but we think the Thumbby is probably the most ingenious massage tool ever developed. Not only does it increase the pressure you can exert when performing massage, thereby saving your hands/thumbs, but it is AMAZING at self-care for therapists and clients alike. It sticks to the wall so you can use it to hit your own trigger points, you can sit on it to hit sciatica hot spots, you can safely cross fiber in tender tissue areas as the material is much softer than hard plastic or wood and it is much less likely to bruise the tissue, you can put it point-up on the floor and work your plantar surfaces for a terrific foot massage, you can heat it in hot water or in a moist heat heating pad (not the microwave!) and run it over the body like a hot stone, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera! Easy to clean with soap and warm water or an anti-bacterial wipe.
The Original Index Knobber (With Vinyl Cap or Wood Ball)
Company Info: The Original Index Knobber" was originally designed for hands-on therapists to allow for precise, deep tissue, hands-on therapy, free of the overuse injuries that often afflict these therapists over time. The Original Index Knobber" (With Ball) The Original Index Knobber" Ball was designed for hands-on therapists that would allow for precise, deep tissue, hands-on therapy, free of the overuse injuries that often afflict these therapists over time.
My Thoughts: This is the most invasive, deep tissue oriented tool that I show in the workshop. It will allow you to transfer 100% of your applied energy (body weight) to a very specific spot on your partner...please be careful :-).
Company Information: Thumbsavers is a unique massage therapy tool. Massage therapists can go deeper and work longer while reducing carpal tunnel syndrome risks, wrist, thumb and joint fatigue or pain. Thumbsavers are not like any other tool because your thumbs are in them! This provides greater sensitivity to the therapist, and a deeper massage for the client.This is an affordable massage tool that assists therapists by providing deeper tissue massages, while protecting their most valuable commodity: their hands!
My Thoughts: These can be tricky to use in your massage without feeling "cluncky" (I am not exactly sure what cluncky is, but it is not good). However, they can be great for helping you hold the occiput for a long period of time if your fingers get tired....make sure and buy two of them. You can also check these out at Zenith Supply locally to make sure you get the right size.
Company Information: Muscle and therapist friendly! This easy-to-use self-massage tool features a foam cover that spins smoothly to deliver a consistent distribution of pressure and help accelerate muscle recovery. Saves fingers and hands from fatigue. Closed-cell, non-porous, zero latex, zero rubber, non-deteriorating foam is easy to clean with an antibacterial gel/spray. Take it anywhere - tiger tails are portable and easy-to-pack. Firm design won't bend! Apply as little or as much pressure as needed.
My Thoughts: These are great for "rolling out" large muscle groups on yourself or on your partner. I would consider them industrial grade and only for the person that wants some pretty deep work. Remember though, just like the foam roller, don't work against your partner. If they are contracting the muscle because it hurts too much, you are probably doing more harm then good.
Cryocup™ Ice Massage Cup
Company Description: State of the Art Ice Massage tool for the treatment of strains, sprains, muscle spasms, pain and inflammation of osteoarthritis and other musculo-skeletal conditions. It is a more effective solution, one that combines the cooling response of an ice pack with the effectiveness of ice massage. The Cryocup™ is a patented simple-to-use ice applicator that reduces the time it takes for soothing cold to penetrate into muscles and begin relieving the aches and pains of muscle strains, sprains and tendinitis.
My Thoughts: Basically, if you are going to use ice in your massage, this is one of the cleanest and easiest to use ways to do it. Otherwise, just buy some dixie cups, fill them 80% with water and put them in the freezer. When you apply the ice to your partner, keep a soft towel by the cup to absorb the melted ice (which is now cold water and does not feel good running down your partner's back...)
Thai Traditional Reflexology Hand Massage Tool
Proceed with caution...extreme caution! The traditional thai reflexology tools are truly things to behold. They are simple and effective...sometimes brutally effective. So if you get one of these, take your time to figure out the best way to use it :-)