Q & A with Tom Myers: Electric Massage Tools?

Question from a follower on social media:

Hi! I love the work of Tom Myers. Could he discuss his views on electric massage tools? 


Thanks for the question! Three levels of answer:

1) I am an advocate for the human hand – for human touch, its skill and its comfort and connection to a beating heart, far above any tool or machine I have ever experienced. The Metaverse might yet produce a superior hands-on treatment, but I doubt it.

That said, and given that skilled human touch is often expensive and not always available, let’s go to another level:

2) Using a tool – theraballs and cups of various sizes, physioballs, kinesiotape, postural clothes, foam rollers of all types, or Graston or similar scraping implements – is a great way to go to touch yourself through the instrument. Yamuna Zake, Jill Miller, Sue Hitzman, Ellen Saltonstall, and many others have put out good programs and tools for them. I am all in favor of these self-help programs. They’ve done a lot of good at relieving pain and restriction.

With the best of intentions, however, the ball cannot feel you the way the human hand can, which leads to these ‘guns’.

3) All the benefits of using a tool still apply to the theraguns. (Don’t we have enough guns in America already? Isn’t there some other name?). But one detriment additionally applies with the gun: It’s electric and keeps its own tempo, rather than adjusting as my hand does to the tempo of the tissue to which it’s being applied.

Last night, where I’m staying right now, a friend who was feeling poorly was trying to stimulate her lymph with one of these guns. She, like most lay people who get these machines, had it turned up to 11. “Faster / harder must be better” has been drilled into us by our culture, so we drill these machines into ourselves to try to get the demons out. I had her turn it down to the slowest oscillation (still not slow enough IMHO) and use it lightly along the lymph channels – much better results and much less stress to her system.

So hey, if you are getting the results you want, more electrical power to you. If you want to use such tools to explore, please feel empowered – I love it when my clients take self-responsibility.

But if you’re asking whether I’ve seen anything new or startlingly unique coming from these theraguns, I have to say no, and please slow it down and go lighter in most cases.

Happy to hear other opinions,
Tom M