My Favorite Massage Therapy Tools

(upbeat music) – Welcome back everybody. Today I wanna talk about tools, and the tools that I
use tools of the trade that helped me with my massage
practice and with my hands. So I’m gonna talk to you about the ones that I’ve used
throughout the years and some I’ve incorporated
into my massage, and some I kinda use by themselves. So let me start with cups. I’m gonna take you from
the one I use the least to my favorite one. So let’s start with the cups, and I know you’re gonna say, how can your cups not be your favorite? But it just takes a whole
session to do cupping. I feel that in order to give the client the treatment that they need, it’s very important for you to spend at least half an hour doing the cupping where you put all the sets, and that just takes too
long for me for what I do, I like tools that I can
incorporate to my massage. So I have the glass ones also however, glass ones are not
covered by our insurance, so we have to use the plastic ones. What I do is I like to
use them on the back, and I pump it three times and I don’t even have to
take it off unplug it, I can just move it around, and it really works on
the superficial fascia it go it warms it up,
it creates vasodilation and see I can incorporate
this into my massage and just make it like
a few minutes routine instead of putting the cups all over. It’s like I mentioned that’s
a whole other session. In order to unplug it you just raise it and put a finger
underneath and there it is, and as you can tell there’s
vasodilation right there, it’s nice and bright and red creating blood flow to the area. The next one that I like to
use are my bamboo sticks, and these are warmed up
I have a heating pad, and they work really good for big areas. This is kinda like when
you’re making tortillas or when you’re you know (laughs) I just made myself laugh, okay? This is like you can use it if you know how to make tortillas, or if you know how to a pie
crust roll out a pie crust, you can go for bigger people, you can go in between the vertebrates here and the rector spinae
and it’s nice and warm, so the clients really like this. Also for the glutes you know, you can really get the
glute work right here, go from lateral to medial, remember you never wanna
spread out the cheeks, so you wanna go ahead
and do lateral to medial, and the smaller one I like
to use for smaller areas. So I can put it on my hand, and it gives a little bit slight pressure and it feels really good on the clients. You know, you can use
it also on the scapula, so like I said this is a tool that I can incorporate to my massage. You can go around the scapula, and it’s nice and warm
and it saves my hands, so this is one of the tools
that I do like to use. Now there’s a whole routine that you can do with a bamboo sticks, and it’s a whole massage
that it takes about an hour. So like I said I just
incorporated here and there, and this is really also
good even for the neck here. You know, you can go up the
neck it feels really good, and the heat from the bamboo makes it good for the client too. The other thing that I like
to incorporate is moist heat. Remember we can do hydrotherapy, and this does wonders
it does the work for me. So let’s say I am working on her low back, so I can put this on her upper back, and leave it there for 15 minutes while I’m working another area and by the time I come
back to the rhomboids they’re nice and warm and supple, and I can go ahead and
start working on them. So during the winter time
I love using the moist heat and during the summer time
I like to use the cold and I won’t dare put it
on her ’cause she’ll jump, but I use this like on the back, on the low back, on the legs, this really gives you a lot of it numbs the area remember
heat and cold have the same secondary effects, so if you use cold, if you use ice it makes your skin really white ’cause it pushes the blood flow
away from the surface, but once you remove the ice
the blood flow comes back, and it makes it really red, and the same thing happens with the heat. The heat draws out the heat
and the redness right away, the blood flow but once
you remove the heat the blood flow goes away
and it turns white again, so it’s the same secondary
effects on both of them, they have the same effect it reverses. So using ice or heat is
really good to incorporate into your practice and it
makes your work a lot easier because it works while you’re
working in another area, you can come back to it and
the muscle is nice and relaxed and it lets you go in a little
bit deeper and do your work. Gua sha is a technique, it’s a oriental Chinese technique, and you can use tools with it. Gua sha is the technique not the tools. I actually have several tools here. I had an instructor
that taught me gua sha, and he was a Chinese
doctor about 20 years ago and he told me just use spoons, it’s a lot cheaper to use the spoons. Then this is the water buffalo bone, you can use a credit card
even a credit card will work, the thinner it is the more
you’re gonna draw out the blood, and it’s gonna create
vasodilation a lot faster. The thicker the edges
it’s a little bit slower, you don’t have to use
it for a lot of times you can use it for like 20 seconds, just use it for 20 seconds, and it does the same thing as the cups. So lemme show you how that works. So you wanna make sure
you use a little bit of lubrication here so that
the skin doesn’t get irritated, and I’m gonna start with a thicker one, so what you do is you scrape, and you only need to scrape
for like 20 to 30 seconds not too much and this is why
this one is a very good one to incorporate into your massage. It feels really good and what this does and it shows you right away
where there is ischemia, like right there I can feel it, it’s really tight and also the
fossa where it’s really tight and what I’m doing here
is creating vasodilation, and it pops up where she
has the most congestion. So this is a really
nice tool to incorporate only 20 to 30 seconds. So it’s easy to incorporate
into your massage. The spoon I really like it for neck, you can really just scoop, scoop out. It really is good as long as
you’re not on the cervicals you can really get the upper trap, I wanna see if you can
get a little better view of what I’m doing. All I’m doing is scraping
up right along the neck, I’m really getting the
levator and the upper trap, and I’m not on the spinous processes or even the transverse processes
all I’m doing is scraping. I can scrape by the rhomboids, even the infraspinatus and supraspinatus, so this is really really easy technique and it’s comfortable on my hand, I can really grasp it good with a handle, these cost a dollar at the Oriental Store, so this is actually one of the
best tools that I like to use and gua sha is the name of the technique. One of my favorite things
to use is the beveled L-bar, and this little edge right
here lets me go right close to the lamina groove right
by the transverse processes, and I can really go up
and down off from C7 all the way down to the lumbar area. I can use also the scooping out motion like you’re scooping out
between the vertebral column and all the way down the lamina groove. It’s also good to use in
between the vertebrae people that have breathing problems
in between the intercostals this is also good for that. You never wanna use anything
like this on the cervicals. So it’s really from T1 all
the way to the lumbar area, and also to get to the
QL it’s another good one because you could set it at an angle, you can get to the belly
of the QL right here with this bevel tool. My second most favorite is the flat one. I use this one almost in
every massage that I do ’cause it really it’s
flat it lets me get to in between all the muscles
here, the rhomboids, all the lats, all of the
infraspinatus, supraspinatus even a little bit right
here up by the levator and the upper trap and on the
glutes this is really good to use on the glutes the origin of the QL and the lats even on the forearm. Now for my favorite I know you
guys are gonna be surprised what favorite tool is
and you’re gonna think it’s not a tool but for me it is, and it’s my CBD massage
cream from Lacuna Botanicals. It really is my secret weapon
because at the same time that I’m helping my
clients you know relax, and it does relieves their pain, it also relieves the pain from my hands. I rub it in and then I rub it on my client so it really helps me to be able to get through the whole massage
without my hands hurting so much. My thumbs really hurt now after so many years of use and abuse, and I do wanna talk to you a little bit about some of the things
that have hurt my hands because I used to use my
thumb’s for everything. So that’s the reason I
incorporate some tools now, and I incorporate even my elbow, you know, your elbow can be
also a tool that you use, and it helps to really
relieve a lot of the pain from my hands so that
is my number one tool. (upbeat music) So there’s a lot of tools out there. I don’t really use a lot of these, but they are out there you know, this is another good one
that you can use you know, this one’s not too bad actually, I just never got used to
using this one too much, but this one’s also really
good like even for the neck, you know, some are made out of stone. This was very uncomfortable
for me because it’s too big I just could never get used to this one. This is ice so for
somebody that has you know, like this area here that’s
really red you know, a very specific work where
you need to really works in a small area with the ice, so this is frozen and it can numb the area so can let you go back in
and work a little bit later you know work it in a little bit more. So this can numb the area and
bring down the inflammation. Remember ice brings down inflammation. This is another one that
used to be my favorite. However, this one for
me really hurt my thumb because I have really short thumbs. So it’s sat right on the
carpal metacarpal joint, and eventually with all the
pushing it really started you know, damaging and hurting
my thumb more than saving it. So the reason I’m showing
you all this is ’cause it might really work for you, it might be a good fit for you. So find out out of all the tools that we have here you know,
all the array of tools here which one is the best for you to use, the one for you to feel comfortable, and incorporate into your massage, and the reason that we use
tools is to enhance our massage and to help us out a little bit. I still am a firm believer
that our hands you know, obviously we have nerve
endings and we can feel however, I think with
practice we really get to feel the body and even
through a tool we can feel where the client needs a
little bit of extra work. So remember to do your
nerve ending strokes to reach closure with your client, and I hope this video really
helps you to figure out what tools you would like to incorporate and enhance your practice and save your hands at the same time. Stay tuned for our next video, subscribe to my channel
and give us a like. Follow me on Instagram for AMP reviews, and check out my website for
any classes and products. All the links are below. Till the next time create a good day. (light music)


  1. NICE! its interesting to see how much tools can help, making the skin red or white from the blood flow…

  2. Amazing video!!! hope to see all sorts of techniques, you are an amazing teacher and healer. Would love to see a video about depths of massage and lengths. 🙂

  3. You’re awesome! I’ve been massaging since I was 19 and I’m now 21! Such an inspiration you are, can’t wait to see what more you offer

  4. I received a comment from a viewer who has concerns about cupping not being healthy. I’m sure there are many variables to this statement & many who would disagree. There are Chinese records of cupping as old as 3,000 yrs ago. The Egyptians also used cupping as did our father of medicine Hippocrates. There’s always a controversial view & I respect that. My videos are for informational purposes only. I make these videos with the best intentions. You are welcome to double check or do your own research. I always encourage students to do so. I do make mistakes especially when I’m talking too fast, lol, or because I don’t know it all. I’m a supporter of Chinese medicine because of my many yrs of studying Tai Chi. There’s no scientific proof that it works nor is there scientific proof that it doesn’t. You choose.

  5. Hi Maria. If you have a client. And his / her skin is dark. Wjen you do cupping you cant see if come to be red. I mean the skin color. How can I know that the cupping really work? I wait for answer. Senaida from Curacao. Thank you.

  6. I'm in love with the frozen tool, the cold hydroculator, all the gua sha which I've healed my own tennis elbow with. And just the tools in general. I might actually try a CEU for this…if anyone knows a good one which incorporates the all of the ones Maria incorporates. If anyone knows one that is in person since I'm that one therapist with a million questions.

  7. door open to show practices in office-probably-yet agree somewhat distracting in long shots-cool tools-gr8 overview and narration excellent-found channel and subscribed t learn perspective , attitude , style and technique-love the anatomy physio vids-gr8wks-

  8. María maravillosa, contigo todo es aprender y mejorar.
    Me encuentro estudiando una técnica de masaje y como mencioné en otra ocasión, me ayudan tremendamente tus vídeos.
    Recibe nuevos saludos.

  9. Hello, how are you? Where can I find that tool to do deep massage, could you help me with that information please?

  10. Gracias por compartir, estoy en esto y en verdad es tan maravilloso verte, aprendo mucho, y me doy cuenta que tengo que estudiar día con día 🙏🏻 🇲🇽

  11. It is buffalo horn, not bone. The power of water buffalo horn is one of the traditional Chinese medicine. It can be used for relieving inflammation and detox. Anyway, I learnt a lot from your videos. Thank you!
    Cheers Donald from China.

  12. I used to get teased for my tool use. I’m still in business they aren’t. However, I have my left thumb that’s pooping out on me!

  13. Thank you for sharing this video. I have been a licensed massage therapist for 13 years. My thumbs are really giving out. I am going to try this CBD massage cream in my sessions. What milligram do you use? Keep up the good work.

  14. Maria where are you located? I would love to get a massage from you. Or if you can recommend a therapist I’m from San Jose California. Thank you and God bless.

  15. Hola como puedo obtener tu herramientas.
    Estan muy buena.
    Me gusto la del dedo gordo.
    Y las que trabaja al vorde de las vertebras

  16. Hola Maria!!!! Mi nombre es Patricia de Santa Fe, Argentina, podes compartirnos a base de que esta compuesta tu crema favorita de masaje CBD por aqui nunca la escuche nombrar. Gracias!! Un gran abrazo santafesino!!!!

  17. I have been treating for a over 10 years now. I have never used tools in my treatments, but have just recently been considering it to save my body a little. How would/did you introduce the use of tools to your long standing clients that have always known you too only use your hands?

  18. Can you please share where to purchase Beveled L bar and the Flat L bar? Thank you for sharing all this great information 🌞

  19. As my experience to save my hands, I stop using my elbows keep my wrist straight neautrally at all time and the top secreat that I use "urine" concoction (your urination your pee) to soak my hands after long hours work. And get Gua Cha on the whole back every month to detoxify the heat and toxin which create and collect from clients' bodies.

  20. Добавьте, пожалуйста, субтитры на русском языке. Очень нравится Ваш канал, хотелось бы ещё понимать все подробные объяснения. Заранее спасибо!

  21. I am interested to know which are your favorite tools for a face massage. Can you do a video incorporating your favorite tools for a face massage?

  22. Me encanta verte…trasmites mucha luz y sabiduría.
    Desde España un abrazo grande.
    Gracias por tu generosidad!

  23. EXCELENTE. Muchas gracias por cada una de sus publicaciones porque ayudan muchisimo tener tantas tecnicas, ver cada herramienta para el enriquecimiento terapeutico. Dios la Bendiga.

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