The Complete Guide to Using Bongers
What is a Bonger Massage?
A Bonger is a percussive massage tool that makes it easy to massage yourself or others. Pain relief and relaxation are within reach!
Our massage tools have been used throughout the world by luxury spas, professional masseuses, accupressure specialists, and chiropractors. But you can experience the same relief right at home time and time again!
Giving a deep tissue massage puts unnecessary stress on your hands and fingers, and often leaves the massage therapist needing a massage themselves! But by using Bonger you can give a quality and pain free massage for extended periods of time. Bonging is as easy and fun as drumming, and is a great excuse for getting drummers to practice on you! Make it a musical massage by putting on some music and playing along in rhythm.
What does it feel like to be bonged? Many people have described their first bonging experience as if they were, “underneath the soothing stream of a powerful waterfall.” Just close your eyes and imagine you are on an exotic vacation! Just one bong and you’ll be convinced!
Bongers make a great gift for family, friends, and co-workers of any age and for any occasion. Whether it’s a birthday, wedding, anniversary, baby shower, get well present, or housewarming, Bongers are always appreciated. Bongers are a gift that keeps on giving!
Learning the Bongers massage technique is quite easy and you will only need 5 minutes or less. First realize that you can easily learn to Bong intuitively, and you may even find a different way of bonging that feels better for you. This is just one way of using Bongers, which is designed to let the tool do all the work for you! If you prefer, you can check out our lesson video on You Tube which takes just a little bit over five minutes.
Otherwise, here we go: Four easy steps to Bonging yourself and others.
- First take a deep breath and relax. Always make sure you are in a relaxed state of mind when bonging yourself or other people so that you do not increase tensions. Put on your favorite music for relaxing or energizing yourself. Now we're ready!
- Grip your fingers around the wooden handles, while your thumb should be placed on the flat part of the metal shaft.
This grip is borrowed from the “German-style” of playing drums and percussion. The Bongers™ themselves encourage proper technique for drumming by rebounding immediately after impact, making Bongers a great pedagogical tool. To start bonging using this grip:
- Place your thumb on the edge of the wooden collar. Your thumb should be vertical and perpendicular to the metal shaft. (See pictures below)
- Wrap your first finger around the other side of the wooden collar. The crease of your first joint of your first finger should be aligned with the metal shaft and the center of your thumb. (Imagine there were no wooden collar so the metal shaft would rest inside of the crease of the first joint).
- Now wrap the remaining 3 fingers loosely below the indented shoulder. The middle finger will rest on the indented shoulder, while the pinky approximately lines up on the two carved lines near the bottom.
- At this point the metal shaft should be parallel with the natural line your forearm and hand makes. This should let you think of the Bonger as an extension of your own arm.5. Lastly, using your wrist bring the Bonger up in the air to a “starting position.” Then in one smooth motion bring the Bonger down and back up, allowing for the natural bounce and recoil to bring the Bonger back to the starting position. This way the more energy you put into the stroke, the more it will recoil in order to pull the pain out of the person instead of digging in.
- Depending on where you are trying to bong, it may be more comfortable to use this technique instead of the “German grip”. The “French grip” also allows for more natural recoil.
- To get in this grip, start off with the “German grip” as described above. Then rotate your hand so your thumb is parallel with the metal shaft.
- If bonging using this method seems too “floppy”, you can move your thumb up onto the metal shaft to dampen some of the recoil.
- By using this grip you can also incorporate your fingers and use more of a flicking motion. To do this, simply use a light squeezing motion from your middle, ring, and pinky fingers moving towards the palm of your hand. You can practice this with each of these 3 fingers separately or in sequence for increased bonging stamina.
- When bonging your own neck and back, try using the “reverse french grip” by bonging toward your thumb.
- Pretend you are a drummer using soft drumming motions and gently flick your wrist up and down. Start out with just one Bonger and begin lightly tapping your opposite wrist while moving up the forearm and up to your shoulder before crossing over to the back of your neck and upper back; this is where most people store the most stress and tension. Which of course creates pain and headaches. Lightly tap on your head while listening to classical music. Some people have claimed to see colors and interesting visions.
- You can of course change the rhythm and the intensity with which you "drum" to satisfaction. You can even massage your lower back and buttocks (always be careful to never bong the kidneys). Next, try bonging your legs and the bottom of your feet using both Bongers in your hands and practice drumming.
Now that you have mastered the four steps above and know how Bonging feels, you hopefully have gained some empathy for bonging others. Some people like it soft and easy while others love it harder and faster. You just never can tell. Always start out soft and slow until you are directed otherwise. How do you find out? By asking in a calm voice, "Please let me know if I'm bonging you too hard or too soft…okay?" Always ask, "How am I doing and how are you doing?" several times as you move from muscle to muscle. It will vary drastically from one part of the body to the next, even on the same person. Also each time might be different depending on their level and location of stress. Always start out softly and slowly on each muscle and ask for feedback constantly as you slowly increase the intensity and tempo.
Soon, you'll be a Master Bonger in cupping and tapping massage which is also called "Tapotement." The Shiatsu type massage is much stronger, but the same asking for feedback is required, even more so. Muscular horses and large dogs usually prefer strong massages (cats prefer a softer massage, one of our clients said her cats run in for a massage when they see her bring her Bongers out). Some people compare the strong drumming to the pounding water underneath a powerful waterfall or to the pulsating, powerful Whirlpool jet. This should only be performed on people who are in excellent health and who have strong muscles and have requested a strong massage.
Always be sure to ask whoever is receiving the Bongers massage if they would like you to bong them softer or harder. Never Bong sensitive areas such as the kidneys.
Try gently massaging your cat, dog, or other pets with Bongers!
“Rolling” is another massage method that can be used. To do this hold the Bonger loosely in one hand while the other hand rolls the ball back and forth, just like using a rolling pin!
Give your shoulders, biceps, and triceps a toning workout by holding one Bonger vertically between both hands and wobble the ball back and forth, and side to side.
Try coating the balls with aromatic scents and massage oils when massaging bare skin. Just remember to wipe off the Bonger after use!
Use a reflexology foot chart or trigger points chart for ideas on where to bong for specific relief
If you have a drummer friend or family member get them to practice their rudiments on you!
Uses and Health Benefits
Whether it’s the lower back, upper shoulders, arms or legs where you are looking for pain relief, Bongers can help. Sometimes we misuse and strain our bodies in unnatural ways, which lead to sore muscles and stiff joints. Other issues that can be tackled with Bongers are carpal tunnel syndrome, cramps, and pain caused by pregnancy and flat feet. By bonging away these pains we can go back to focusing on how we should use our bodies, instead of simply reacting to the pain.
Relaxation and Stress Relief
Stress is one of those conundrums that develop in our minds from bleak perspectives. However this stress can then resurface negatively in our attitude, thought process, and even our bodies with such mechanisms as headaches, anxiety, and nausea. These troublesome mechanisms act as the body’s warning system that something is wrong. While spas and massage therapists can do this for you, sometimes the expensive cost get you more stressed out than you were before. Why not buy a reusable massage tool that gives you a professional feeling massage for an inexpensive onetime fee? By relaxing with a Bonger massage after a long day you can reset your stress levels back to zero and approach any daily challenges with a fresh perspective.
Circulation and Good Health
Proper circulation of the body is one of the most important aspects to obtaining better health. Bongers effectively stimulate blood flow, which can help revitalize low energy caused by depression and hangovers, destroy cellulite, and break up congestion from pneumonia, bronchitis and chest colds. By improving your circulation with Bongers you can also ward off the numerous disorders related to poor circulation as well as helping counteract the effects of aging.
Bongers can also act as a wonderful proprioception tool while strengthening your wrists, arms, and shoulders. You can hold the Bongers straight up vertically and wobble the ball left to right while holding your arm rigid to exercise your shoulders. You can also wobble the ball toward you and away from you to exercise your triceps and arms. If you stare at the ball while wobbling the ball or massaging it helps train your brain to pinpoint where your hand is located in space; thus improving proprioception. This helps with hand-eye coordination and is extremely useful during recovery from stroke, Muscular Dystrophy, dementia, or Parkinson’s.
As a result of all these benefits, Bongers promote a positive attitude, deep sleep, good health, personal growth, and improved communication and friendships. Not to mention Bongers are portable, battery-free, inexpensive, reusable, fun, and easy to use!
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