This is the story of WIT (Wellness Integration Tools) so far....
Out of sight, out of mind. Sadly that is pretty much how it goes with preventative self care. The truth is, if it’s not easy and quick, and right in front of us- we won’t typically make time for it (with a few exceptions). People are busy, and they are injuring themselves, sustaining repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) from everything from; typing and texting, working out in incorrect ways, slumping forward in airplane seats and cars, and over doing it after being told to be more active.
As a result of this, people are experiencing increased pain, injury, disease, and decreased quality of life, and companies are incurring rising healthcare costs and lost productivity.
The underlying cause of most repetitive strain injuries have to do with the state of our fascia (described below) as well as the state of self-awareness and knowledge about our bodies.
Fascia is a 3-Dimensional web that surrounds and connects all of the soft tissue in the body from just underneath our skin all the way down to the level of the bone. Imagine a box full of marbles. The marbles represent every nerve, artery, muscle, organ and tissue in the body. If you were to pour a glue like substance into the box, so that it seeped into every space between the marbles attaching them... this is the fascial web...literally connecting every cell in our bodies! As long as the fascial web remains mobile and dynamic, allowing for flow in our system things are good. However, when it stiffens and becomes like cement this is when problems arise. Sticky fascia leads to problems such as decreased blood flow and oxygenation, decreased lymphatic drainage (toxin release), immobility, tightness, and pain.
Through movement and self-myofascial release (SFMR) people can keep their fascia from getting sticky and release tissue that is already sticky, returning it to a healthy state. Doing so helps to decrease injury and return people to a state of optimal function.
The philosophy of the WIT Method is to put the tools for preventative care and SMFR right in front of people, easily accessible. If a person has a tool designed to relieve carpal tunnel pain by releasing sticky fascia in the hand and wrist, sitting right on their desk, they are more likely to actually use it. Likewise, if the tool to help release tension and relieve pain in the neck and shoulders, is on the wall 10 feet from their desk and they walk past it 30 times a day, they are more likely to use it.
The WIT Method consists of physical tools for SMFR that are accessible and easy to use, as well as tools designed to be taken with you so you can stay healthy while you are on the go. Tools are paired with a robust and individualized digital platform of information and education. I believe through accessible healing we can create a culture of prevention.The goal of WIT is to empower each individual with tools for optimal health, positively impact lives and create a culture of prevention.
I have been a Physical Therapist and body worker for the past 18 years. From that experience I have come to believe the following things passionately:
1) People can heal, and can be empowered to heal themselves.
2) Fascia (connective tissue) plays a significant role in our well-being.
3) Tools for healing can be accessible to any body, at any time.
I created the WIT Method and tools to help people apply the science of fascial release to their individual routines regardless of the environment they find themselves in. By using education and self-myofascial release (SMFR) to help people understand and reconnect to their bodies, they can start to function optimally and learn to play a pivotal role in their own healing.
So far the development of WIT has been a very boot straps, DIY venture. I started with a vision to take what I do 1:1 with people as a PT and scale it to reach more people. I envision a platform of education and tools for healing that can be implemented not only for individuals, but also in the workplace and travel settings. The key is accessibility, if you give people the knowledge and place the tools in front of them they can heal. I was not finding the kind of tools that I believed to be most beneficial, so I set out to create my own. Over the last 3 years I have made significant strides toward making my own massage ball on a string (the WIT ball), a WIT mini (small ball) for harder to reach places, the WIT Wall which is a wall mounted rolling unit designed to target the neck and shoulders (patent pending), a WIT wellness kit for travel, and educational support content.
More details about WIT tools and $ needed for each:
This massage ball on a string allows for releasing any part of your body while using the string for easy adjustment. The critical piece in developing the WIT ball for me has been making sure that it has the right texture and durometer (apparently that is the word for hardness- I am learning so much about things I NEVER thought I would have to know about) to facilitate optimal fascial release. I am also working to make sure that the manufacturing processes and materials are sustainable and eco-friendly.
Below is the first round of this ball which I like the overall design of, however I am finding that the natural rubber material does not hold up to the elements as well as I would like. My industrial designer and I are working with a company and their engineers to come up with a new design and material that continues to allow for the right texture and feel while still maintaining durability and sustainability. Finalizing this process (new mold tooling, prototypes, design fees, and first run) will likely be around $10,000.
The string and tote bag prototype elements are finalized and ready to be manufactured on a larger scale (tote bags are made locally here in SF).
This is a little ball for rolling out harder to reach places like your hands and feet. I made this cute little neoprene keychain pouch so you can easily attach this to your keys or to a bag. These pouches are also made locally here in SF. This product is ready to roll (pun intended).
THE WIT WALL
This product was born out of a need to release the upper shoulders and neck area (as this is one of the most affected areas on people given all of our time on computers and phones) and not finding anything that worked really well. The patent is pending and the design and physical prototypes are coming a long way. My industrial designer and I are currently working on tweaking the sliding mechanisms on the prototype in the photo and tweaking the profile a bit to make it so that you can also release higher up on your neck and forearms with this product. Very exciting. My vision is that this product lives within 25 feet of every ones desk at their place of work (or home) changing the culture of the workplace to one of prevention and self-healing. Finalizing this process (final prototypes, design fees, and first run) will likely be around $8000.
WIT Wellness Bag
The idea here is that many people want (and need) these items when they travel. The idea of this bag is that it is going to be compact enough that it could fit in a suitcase if you want to travel with it. However, I am also planning to pitch this idea to hotels as an item they would make available to guests in their rooms so that people can keep up with their wellness and rolling routines even when away from home. Which quite honestly- is when you need it most! Getting off of an 8 hour flight followed by a 2 hour car ride, schlepping luggage around- this is when you need to roll out the most.
I have a few sample bags made and once the WIT ball is finalized it will be a part of this kit. The same company that is making my tote bags and WIT mini pouches are on board to manufacture this bag- so that is good. I imagine it will take about $3000 to get this product where it needs to be. Final designs and bag prototypes, material and first run as well as purchasing the other wholesale items which will be in the bag (travel foam roller and travel yoga mat) for the first run.
I am producing a robust website and mobile platform which acts like Web MD Symptom Checker- but for PT fascial release and self-care. Content includes videos, audio guided segments, and lots of educational content intended to empower people to heal themselves. The cost of fully developing this portion is still TBD, so for starters the additional $14000 in this fundraiser and anything extra will go into this bucket.
And if giving $ is not doable- I would be grateful for encouraging thoughts and well-wishes, and passing this on to others you think might support this vision.
Thank you all for your support!
Much love and gratitude- Kristin