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Wrap that Voodoo that you Do so Well

If you’ve ever come into the Cafe and complained about an overuse injury, sprain or tendinitis, Dr. Joel may have suggested that you “wrap it up”. He’s referring to a new kind of self-therapy that can be done with a long piece of rubber often referred to as a ‘Voodoo Band’. It goes by other names but Voodoo Band works well since the effects are part science and part magic. This type of compression and flossing therapy was made popular by CrossFit movement & MWOD founder, Dr. Kelly Starrett.

The idea behind the Voodoo Band is that by tightly wrapping the band around the affected region, you’re compressing and reducing inflammation in the targeted area and constricting the blood flow. When the band is removed, fresh blood and nutrients surge back into the area and flush out any of the ‘junk’ that was hanging around. You might even notice that sore muscles recover quicker! More importantly, once the area is wrapped and the joint is moved through its end ranges of motion the magic happens. This movement will help break up scar tissue, glued tissues and matted tissues. It gets in to places that a foam roller and lacrosse ball simply can’t since it applies 360 degrees of even pressure. It’s this global shearing effect that can improve and restore range-of-motion to the joint.

To use the Voodoo Band, begin by wrapping the area slowly (and most commonly from distal to proximal) until you can get a one full rotation around. Once set, pull the band at about a 70% stretch. Often you’ll need a ‘super friend’ to help you wrap difficult areas, like the shoulders or elbows. When you get close to the end of the band, tuck the end piece under an earlier wrapped part of the band. Now that you’re wrapped, beginning working through your end ranges of motion. If you are suffering a sprain, you’ll find you can move the joint farther since it’s compressed and stable. This should never be painful, just to the point where it’s mildly uncomfortable. Continue moving the area for a few minutes or until you feel pins and needles or you’ve lost colour in the region. Unwrap the band and test for improvement. Repeat this 3-5 times consecutively and numerous times throughout the day. Be warned, it’s not uncommon to see ‘tiger stripes’ (lines of broken blood vessel after you remove the band), so, not the best to use the Voodoo Band before family photos in that nice summer dress you have.


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