It's a car buffer, it's a jigsaw, and a massage tool!  According to the Wall Street Journal, increasing numbers of massage therapists are looking in the garage for tools to treat patients.

It's not really that new of a trend, but it's beginning to spread nationwide. The Journal says rising prices of specific massage tools have led many practitioners and athletic trainers to utilize such tools as car buffers, sanders and even jigsaws to massage and 'tenderize' people.

The Journal says a car buffer with a soft lambskin padded cloth, or a jigsaw with a rubber ball instead of a blade can actually shorten massage sessions. Trinity University has an athletic trainer who uses a customized jigsaw and car buffer to treat athletes. Some say power tools can accomplish in 5-10 minutes what it took 30 to do before.

The percussive and rapid vibration of power tools simulates that of more expensive massage equipment, say these experts, and can even produce better results.

One trainer says after seeing a $600 price tag on a piece of massage equipment, he went to the garage and found a belt sander (with the belt replaced by a padded rubber cloth) could achieve the same goal. Many college trainers say the same thing. Smaller schools with limited budgets cannot afford expensive stuff, so they look to alternatives.

The idea of using modified power tools began a few years ago in the world of powerlifting. Large athletes found the percussive and hammering effects of a powertool could stimulate healing, loosen up sore and tired muscles, and for a lot less money.

Some power tool manufacturers caution doing this, as their products are designed to eat through wood, or buff old wax and even paint of a car.

But those who use them say the smaller, less industrial models work well. For example, one trainer uses a jigsaw with a rubber racquetball installed in place of the blade.

Now, about those inner thigh muscles?  Be careful!   :)

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