I often get that sinking feeling when a company asks me to trial their new product that will definitely cure x, y or z. These products are often just variations on things that have been done in the past and do not actually work. However, last year Caroline from WellbriX sent me a sample of her new product and it made me very happy! She had identified a need and created the perfect product for it.
So what is WellbriX
Their website describes the product as:
“WellbriX is a modular massage system of Knuckles, Elbows and Thumbs that can be directed onto the knotted fibres that need releasing. They also work on many of the muscles of the body rollers fail to reach. The first targeted Myofascial release tool.”
Basically, they are little square blocks, with round points of different sizes that you can use to do your own trigger point therapy as part of massage. Now you may be thinking “There’s nothing new about that – I’ve got two foam rollers and a spiky ball that does the same”, so let me explain what makes these little blocks different for me.
What I love about the WellbriX massage blocks
They stay in place regardless of the position you use them in. I have always used a tennis ball against a wall or in a chair to massage my upper back, but it has a habit of slipping out of position just as you finally get the right spot. The rubber block means that the Wellbrix stays in place even when you press against slippery surfaces.
They are really easy to use against a wall, while standing upright, for people whose injuries do not allow them to twist into funny positions on the floor. Using a foam roller or spicky ball to massage your glutes on the floor is easy when you don’t have a sensitive back, but most of my patients with acute back pain flare themselves up if they try it. I have given the brick with the large ball (the elbow) to a number of my patients to try out and they’ve reported very good results.
The “4 fingers” block provides very targeted pressure to small areas along the spine and back. I found that I could be a lot more specific when I used it for my own back. I also used it to do my back extension exercises while sitting in a chair and found that I could better isolate the movement in my mid back.
Using the blocks in sitting and standing allowed me to control the amount of pressure that I applied a lot better than when I was on the floor. One of my main complaints when using the foam roller or balls on the floor has always been that my arms get tired and stops me from doing a proper job. Using Wellbrix in sitting or standing made it a much more passive activity and allowed me to relax more. One of my patients, who previously reported that using her massage ball on her glutes was too painful, could use the Wellbrix against a wall with no problem.
It’s very easy to travel with. They are small and compact and I tend to carry the “4 fingers” one in my backpack during my daily commute. My mid back often gets sore and tight after a day of bending over patients. Using it in my chair on the train home (for massage and extension exercises) means that I am pain free by the time I get to the other side (and everyone else has moved to the other side of the carriage J).
The “two knuckles” one sorts out my headaches. My neck muscles often reward me with a lovely tension headache whenever I carry a back pack or just push things a bit too far in the gym. My usual cure is stretching and trigger point pressure using my hands, but I usually get bored of applying pressing after about 5 minutes. Now, I use the “two knuckles” to apply pressure to the painful points in my neck and the base of my skull while I relax on my couch. Because it’s a passive activity I now tend to stick with it for long enough and it usually sorts the headache out within 15 minutes. I have tried using smaller balls in the past, but these would never stay in place.
What I dislike about WellbriX
My only complaint is that it only allows point pressure and does not allow you to roll over an area. There are some occasions that I prefer to use a ball or a roller to get a longitudinal massage effect.
This is a great product that solves very specific problems I experienced when using other self-massage devices. While I’ll still be using my foam roller and tennis ball in certain circumstances, the WellbriX system has firmly established its place within my treatment regime.