The Muscle Angels® Story

Written by Sharon Johnson, Freelance Writer

Susan RobinsSusan Z. Robins, the founder of Muscle Angel® massagers,
has been playing the cello since she was 10 years old. By the time
she was in junior high school, she began to have neck and back pain
from carrying the 30-pound instrument to and from rehearsals.

After graduating from Wellesley College, Susan accepted a high-pressure job, and within a few years, began experiencing chronic tension headaches from the stress.

More recently, she developed bilateral tendonitis on her hands and arms from computer overuse and from the repetitive motion required to play her cello. The pain progressed to the point where Susan was not only unable to play her instrument, she couldn’t even open a jar or turn a key in a door.

Massage therapy and occupational therapy helped, as did Bikram yoga, but Susan needed a solution that wasn’t so costly or time-consuming.

As a result, she launched a comprehensive search for a product that would meet all her needs. She tried massage balls in all their many forms, foam rollers, electronic vibrating chair cushions, and tennis balls stuffed into tube socks. Everything worked for one particular area of pain, but no one product worked for all areas.

At this point, driven as much by exasperation as by pain, Susan set out to design that elusive “perfect product” herself—one that combined the best elements of all the different massagers she’d tried.

Using her own pain needs as a model, she identified the top “must have” features: The product had to be comfortable to hold; it had to offer a hands-free option for days when her hands hurt too much to grasp it; it needed to have a hard tip that would work deep on sore muscles and tendons; it had to be textured to knead tight muscles; it needed to be lightweight and portable and, it had to be easy to use without assistance from a partner.

Susan came up with several designs and began running focus groups with musicians, semiprofessional athletes, massage therapists, occupational therapists, nurses and dental hygienists.

After months of field testing the product and refining the design, Muscle Angels® came into being. Just as the Muscle Angels® massager has helped Susan return to playing her cello, it is her fervent hope that it will help others get back to doing whatever it is they love best.

» Muscle Angels® Executive Leadership