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About Cats Paw
HOW THE CATS PAW WORKS
The Cats Paw exercises the opening muscles of your hands and arms, this restores and maintains your body's natural biomechanical balance. Your hands are the only part of your body used forcefully in only one direction - closing - even typing is pushing in. This means constant gripping, squeezing and constriction in your hands and wrists. The Cats Paw counteracts all this constriction and restores balance naturally by exercising the opposing muscles! It's so simple, it makes perfect sense, and it works!
CATS PAW THEORY
The Cats Paw theory is based on the established truth that you must exercise opposing muscle groups to keep your body fit, balanced and healthy. The hands are the only part of the body used forcefully in only one direction - closing - even typing is pushing inward. This constant repetitive and strenuous inward activity creates an biomechanical imbalance which leads to problems such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and other Repetitive Stain Injuries. The Cats Paw counteracts and corrects this imbalance with opposing muscle exercise.
This argument is best supported by Dr. Emil Pascarelli of the Miller Institute at Columbia University in New York. In an excerpt from his book, "REPETITIVE STRAIN INJURIES, a computer users guide," he writes:
"Muscles work in unison, you must learn to stretch and lengthen corresponding (opposing) muscles. Tight muscles on one side of the bone can cause the other side to over stretch and weaken. You must do exercises to strengthen corresponding muscle groups faithfully to keep everything in balance and remain in shape for your job."
Developing the opening muscle groups (the extensor muscles) of the hand and forearm will pull the area back into the natural biomechanical balance that was lost due to constantly straining in one direction (closing). Stronger extensors will hold the wrist in a neutral position more of the time, easing and preventing many symptoms. This is what wrist braces are supposed to do, however, because they let some muscles atrophy while over exerting others the latest studies show them to be often ineffective and sometimes harmful. Developed forearm extensors may also create an overall outward pull on the wrist area and specifically on the Transverse Carpal Ligament, which runs across the bottom of the wrist. This will effectively pull and stretch the area out of constriction. This can be demonstrated by looking at the bottom of your wrist while making a tight fist (notice the constriction) and while opening your hand wide which has the opposite effect, notice the expanding, or opening up, of the area.
When using the Cats Paw four functions combine to create more room in the Carpal Tunnel area:
The Cats Paw does this naturally.
While it is true ligaments, such as the Transverse Carpal Ligament, are not considered a stretchable material, we would like to point out that if you pull on steel long and hard enough it too will stretch. Also, on June 6 1993 the New York Times reported that Dr. Bergen, an orthopedic surgeon at St. Joseph's Hospital in Patterson NJ received a patent on a surgical technique invented to stretch the Transverse Carpal Ligament. Using the Cats Paw does this without surgery. In standard CTS release surgery this ligament is permanently cut in half.
According to the National Safety News and the National Safety Council active exercise is the most important modality used by hand therapists in conservative treatment. The Cats Paw is unique in the type of exercise it prescibes and the direction of stretching it allows. Closing is constricting, opening is expanding, if we expand the Carpal Tunnel area just a fraction, the pinch on the Median Nerve (about the thickness of a thread) can be relieved .
CTS and RSI are involved problems with many factors affecting each individual. The Cats Paw and the new technique it teaches are successful for the majority of sufferers. This extremely affordable and effective tool should be included as part of all Corporate Safety and Ergonomic programs.
Cats Paw Testing History
The CATS PAW was developed by Joel Gibney to relieve his own problem. His hands would become sore and numb, waking him in the middle of the night. This is a common primary symptom of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), a Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). The exerciser and technique it teaches has since been tested and proven with thousands of people. 2 out of 3 of the responding test subjects claim total or partial relief from their CTS symptoms of pain and numbness. The CATS PAW was tested independently, through Corporate Safety and Ergonomic departments, as well as through Doctor's Offices, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and Chiropractic clinics. For all these studies subjects were instructed in the proper use of, and supplied with the CATS PAW hand exerciser, directions, data and log sheets. Subjects were instructed NOT to change their normal work or play schedule, but to simply include the CATS PAW use in their daily routine and record their observations. Data sheets were returned with impressive results. Reported data proves the Cats Paw to be effective with 2 out of 3 people. Testing ran from 1988 through 1999.
The Cats Paw works! Buying the Cats Paw is the best money I ever spent. I have had CTS problems for years and tried everything except surgery. I am an administrator at the Pacifica Graduate Institute and do a lot of work on the computer. The Cats Paw relieved the pain in my wrist and hand. Itís great! "It really works.