It was years ago when one of my sisters-in-law, Holly, told me about VooDoo Floss Bands. “You’ve got to try it! They’re amazing!” She raved on and on about how the bands helped her get rid of her knee and elbow pain. Her trainer used them on her, and she felt immediate pain relief. I believe the word “miracle” was even used.
The excitement about this product encouraged another one of my sisters-in-law, Summer, to try it. She mainly uses it as a therapeutic tool for her messed up knee, but she has also used it on her dysfunctional hamstring. Just like Holly, Summer found pain relief from using the VooDoo Floss Bands.
Since I spend so much time writing about and researching different ways to find pain relief at home, it makes sense that this product is on my radar. I had not, however, realized how incredibly popular the VooDoo bands are until I started my online research.
What is it?
I believe the folks over at MobilityWOD may have created the VooDoo Floss Band. If they didn’t create it, they found it and figured out what to do with the Floss like no one had before. MobilityWOD is a website created by and featuring author, coach, and physical therapist Kelly Starrett. When you look on YouTube for videos about how to use your VooDoo Floss Band, you will find many videos from Kelly and MobilityWOD.
In these videos, you can learn how to wrap your legs, ankles, knees, hips, arms, wrists, elbows, and shoulders. Any part of any of your limbs can be wrapped for therapeutic purposes. However, you should never wrap your head, face, neck, abdomen, or back.
Before you buy a band, it’s important to know that these bands are made of latex. Anyone with a latex allergy should avoid this product.
What does it do?
In my research, I came across this great article from Michele Vieux on CrossFitInvictus.com. This is how she explains what VooDoo Flossing does:
“Voodoo Floss helps break up intramuscular junk to allow for greater mobility and blood supply to an area. By squeezing the muscle in a tight wrap, then forcing it through a full range of motion (ROM), friction between muscle fibers helps break up fuzz, scar tissue, lactic acid and other junk in those tiny places that foam rolling and lacrosse ball techniques can’t address. …
When you release the band, a rush of blood washes through the muscle; this not only brings nutrients for growth and healing but also clearing out all that junk you just broke up. This is also true for injury recovery and can be used to aid the healing of strained tissue. For swollen areas, you want to promote lymphatic drainage. To do this, wrap the band about half as tight as you do when you’re trying to mobilize the area.”
How do you use it?
Pick Your Band
There are two types of bands–red and black. The color indicates the thickness of the band. With these bands, the red is thicker than the black. Therefore, you may want to use the black on smaller muscles like in your arms and shoulders. You also may want to use the black if you’re new to wrapping.
That being said, many people with larger muscles are comfortable exclusively using the red band.
Traditionally, you start your wrap at the top and work your way down. Begin by wrapping the strip on itself once with about 50% tension to get an anchor set. Next, you want to have about 50% overlap of the strips as you work your way down. You don’t need to use maximal tension for the whole wrap, especially if you’re just starting using the band. When you’re at the end of the band, tuck in the tail.
Matt Marchant offers a less traditional approach to wrapping the calf. He suggests that you start at the bottom and work your way up. Also, he suggests that you only apply tension on the band when you’re covering the area that needs help. So, in his example of wrapping the calf, he applied tension on the band when he was placing the band across his calf (as opposed to over his shin). In case none of what I just wrote makes sense, here’s a link to his video.
If you are wrapping your shoulder, elbow, wrist, or arm, you may want to have a friend help. Especially if you’re new, successful wrapping can be tricky, so don’t be afraid to ask for some help so that you can make the most of each wrap.
Also, if you feel numbness, tingling, or lack of blood flow, take off the band!
Now that you’ve got your dysfunctional area wrapped, move. Do movements where you would normally feel pain. Try to move the joint in all planes of motion. For joints, incorporate lots of bending. If you have a wrapped limb, try to move your limb up, down, and in circles. (Think of leg lifts and leg circles.)
No matter what you’re doing, be mindful that you don’t leave your wrap on for a long time. From everything I’ve read and heard, 2-3 minutes is the maximum time that you should leave yourself wrapped.
Does it work?
I have already told you that two of my sisters-in-law use the VooDoo Floss Bands regularly for pain relief. However, I figure that it’s best for me to try it out myself. From what I’ve read, the bands work really well for any muscles and joints on your arms and legs.
Personally, aside from my current broken neck, the only joint I have issues with is my sacroiliac joint. Therefore, I searched the wonderful world of Google to find how to wrap for SI joint issues. Here’s what I found:
If you’re looking for a way to wrap for SI joint issues, you’re out of luck. The best I could find was a nice video on wrapping for hip therapy. Since I wasn’t having hip issues, I really can’t tell if the wrap combined with the therapist’s exercises improved anything.
So, for me, I have no opinion about the VooDoo Floss Band. It seems unfair to negatively judge a product simply because I don’t happen to have the problems that the product improves. However, I seem to be in a minority.
Thousands of people have tried the VooDoo Floss Band for various limb or joint pains. Based on what I’ve seen on the internet, it works. But I don’t need to listen to strangers say how well the band works–I’ve got two family members who regularly tell me all about it.
Have you tried the VooDoo Floss Band? What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.
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