Abacus FAQs

What are compression exercises?

One of the most widely known ways to promote blood flow is to massage using compression. Compression exercises combine the philosophy behind compression and massage, applying pressure with motion while gently working the muscles. It was initially used for athletes, but other massage therapists and chiropractors began to use these tools. Massages using compression provide long lasting results. There are many benefits as it relaxes, heals, improves circulation, rejuvenates, and eliminate trigger points.

Why do physical therapists use massage tools? 

Physical therapists use massage equipment to improve soft tissue mobility and flexibility while decreasing pain and muscle spasms. This is sometimes called IASTM, or instrument assisted soft tissue mobility. Massage tools also promote blood flow and circulation.

What is a self massage therapy tool? 

These self-massage tools can help alleviate tension and pain on trigger points, or tight and sensitive spots in a contracted muscle, throughout the body. Unlike regular massage tools like simple rollers or backscratchers, self massage therapy tools are better optimized for exercise and multifaceted, directed use. 


For instance, the Gelliflex Abacus has three firmness levels of Gelliprene balls. The soft balls can alleviate tension in sensitive upper levels of tissue while the harder balls are great for deep tissue massages. Insertable racks on the Gelliflex abacus make this instrument adaptable to different exercises and parts of the body. For myofascial release, trigger point therapy, compression massage, kneading and gliding.

How can you use the Abacus as a forearm massage tool?

You can use the Abacus to massage the forearm by placing two rows of the Gelliprene balls close together in the middle of the Abacus. Insert your hand between the two rows, then push your arm forward and move it back and forth. The pressure from the Gelliprene balls on top and below your arm will create a soothing compression sensation.

What are some good exercises for arthritic hands?

If you have arthritic hands, you can squeeze the soft balls on the Abacus to exercise the muscles in your hands and alleviate tension. You can also use the Abacus as a roller by moving it back and forth in the palm of your hand.


If you have a firm, bouncy ball available, you can lay it on a flat, hard surface and gently roll your hand to relieve tension. You can also include your forearm for additional relief. Use a variety of circular, back and forth motions. Afterward, follow up with a pain-relieving cream. If the ball doesn’t work or it increases your pain, seek out a healthcare provider.

Can you use the Abacus for a wrist massage?

Yes. Place the Abacus on a flat surface, and place two rows of Gelliflex balls on it so that they are just touching. Move your hand up and down with the palm face down, face up, or with your pinkie finger between two balls on the same row.

What other functions can the Abacus perform? 

The Abacus can be used for finger massages, hand squeezing, thumb rolls, elbow massages, and as a massage ball roller on virtually any part of the body. You can find out more about how to use the Abacus on our Squeezing, Rolling, and Compression pages, as well as on our video page

Who can use the Abacus? 

The Abacus is frequently used for people with Gamer’s thumb, or ‘nintendonitis,’ as well as for people with golfer’s elbow or pitching elbow pain. In general, it can help relieve tension in trigger points if you feel pain after exercising. The Abacus has been featured in The Golf Wire and Massage Magazine