3 On Your Side

Consumers using power tools to relax

Posted: Updated:
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

Do you have a muscle cramp that’s putting a cramp in your day? Wouldn’t a massage feel great right about now? Some people are skipping traditional masseuses or massage equipment, saying all you need to ease your pain is right in your garage. 

When Georgia Mergner needs a little help relieving sore muscles, the college athlete simply powers up some power tools, like a standard car buffer from the hardware store.

“I really like the car buffer a lot. My quads get really sore and then it’s really great.”

Mergner learned about the tools from her school’s head strength coach Bill DeLongis. He discovered other trainers using them online. There are demos all over social media.

In addition to the buffer, DeLongis uses a filed-down and cushioned jigsaw that he fashioned through trial and error to massage his athletes.

“We make it safe,” DeLongis says. “And I've been using the ‘jigsage’, which is what I like to call it; I’ve been using it for going on almost two years now, and I’ve never had an issue. And it gets used all the time.”

Why are some trainers, physical therapists, and even consumers using the tools on muscles? DeLongis says, they’re at least half off the price of ordinary massage devices and he says they work just as well. 

“Love them for the warmups just to warm the muscle up and loosen any knots, adhesions that you might have,” DeLongis explains.

However, Anne Williams, the director of education for The Associated Body Work and Massage Professionals, says a traditional hand massage is safer and more effective.  

According to Williams, “When you're a massage therapist you're constantly aware of what's happening in the tissue, you're palpating the tissue, you're feeling for anomalies in tissue. There’s no way that a machine can do that.”

A spokesperson for the maker of a power tool sometimes used for personal massage says, “We do not condone the use of the tools in such a manner, from a safety perspective.”

DeLongis agrees safety is a concern and advises using these power tools for massages under the direction of a professional. 

Mergner was initially intimidated, but learned from her trainer and is ready to stay powered up. 

“Be careful, and talk to someone who knows what they’re doing,” Mergner advises.

“But, I would definitely recommend it.”

DeLongis says the power tools are just part of the devices he uses on his athletes and advocates traditional tools and using a traditional masseuse.

Remember, if you use the power tools for massage, it is NOT the intended use of the tools. There are no safety standards for the altered devices. 

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Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

Click to learn more about Gary.

Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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