A TheraBreakthrough: THERA CANE by Jessica Skropanic
“The relief we experience when a trigger point is released is indescribable.”
Those of us with chronic knots and active trigger points have a dirty little secret: When no one is looking we crunch up against doorknobs, back bend over the corners of furniture, and look anxiously toward the date of our next deep tissue massage. What we’re trying to do is reach the deep knots and trigger points - tender painful points in our back and neck muscles that often refer pain to other areas of the body - that self-rubbing and lying on a tennis ball won’t quite reach. The relief we experience when a triggerpoint is released is indescribable.
Enter Daniel Hennessey. Thanks to this gifted entrepreneur, we can openly work out our knots and trigger points, and look skilled – even dignified – doing it.
Hennessey’s story is not a rare one. Because of neck and back injuries, he sought out a host of professionals, each of whom he said treated his muscles in a different way: Surgeons cut, chiropractors adjusted, etc. He began to envision a device that would allow him to treat his muscles on his own. Like most of us who’ve suffered serious soft tissue damage, he was simply “ … searching for relief.” The result was the Thera Cane, described as a device for ‘deep pressure massage’.
The Thera Cane looks like a short overly-curved walking cane with four protruding branches on its body, and rounded ends. It is light but very strong (fiberglass and nylon). “You can put hundreds of pounds of pressure on the protrusions,” explained Hennessey. “You lean into it or against it.”
The Thera Cane is designed to minimize stress to the body and help you relax so it can go deep. “You’re optimizing the use of it when you minimize hand and arm movement.” The DVD (available separately) is a superb accessory to its use. It also comes with a little booklet that gives fully illustrated instructions explaining how to use it. The protrusions on the Thera Cane are numbered from 1-6, so you always know on which protrusion to put pressure.
My most active trigger points will put any device to a real test; quadratus lumborum deep, located in the lower back. Ugh! I’ve actually bruised myself bending over the corner of a couch, trying desperately to reach these points on either side of the spine. The best pressure for me for these points comes from the sides, not directly on the back, with the fingers/elbow of the massage therapist perpendicular, so I kept trying to dig my fingers through skin and muscle to get to these tight spots. These are not easy places to do self-treatment!
When my Thera Cane arrived I ripped open the box and prayed it would do the job. I sat in a chair and went through the back sequence of the DVD and booklet. It was really effective! I continued through the other sections of the DVD, which was a great addition to the Thera Cane. It took me through the use of it on each section of the body just as the booklet (included with the Thera Cane) did, but watching a model in motion was very helpful, and I could mirror them as in a dance/aerobic video.
The Thera Cane was really efficient at getting into the difficult areas to self-massage, like the lower and upper back. It was also good at helping my body parts being massaged to relax – an essential part of deep massage – because there are few parts of the body that are involved in manipulating the Thera Cane. I was really quite impressed at its light weight yet sturdy construction.
What a nice way to bridge the gap between massages! ... and I didn’t have to do a backbend over the couch corner!
The Thera Cane’s suggested retail price is $39.95, and the DVD runs $5.00-$10.00. Check out Thera Cane website for more information. The Thera Cane is available on and off the Internet, including at: www.theracane.net.