a community of practitioners
Tools can be used well. Things like hot stone and bamboo massage have there application. Having variety at a spa will encourage clients to come back more. But I like using my hands. However, when you approach tools in a martial arts way they can be used as well as hands. They become an extension of your hands through which you reach out and feel the body. At this point I think there is great value in using bamboo, marble balls or jade rollers, as well as, other tools.
The variety of massages makes this a profession of life time learning and self growth. ENJOY!
I started using bamboo over a year ago. My hands hurt a LOT and this was one thing that saved me (I also started using Val Guin's Forearm Dance). My clients absolutely love the bamboo! I have a moist heat pad that I use to heat them, and clean up is easy - just a Wet Ones "Big One". The bamboo helps relax the tissues and the client which means I can do deeper work with less effort. I also use it as a break from more intense work which is great for me and my clients.
It is possible to feel the tissue through the sticks, especially with practice. A lot of times people will accept the use of the sticks on areas that are tender and then I can use my hands for finer work.
Overall it's been an extremely worthwhile addition to my practice.
It is really interesting to take a bamboo massage therapy at your home..