Chiropractor Dr Jason Wersland's journey into percussive therapy began in 2007 after a motorcycle accident; the rest is history. The Conran Shop had the honour of asking the founding force behind Therabody about business, inspiration, and lockdown challenges.
1. Please tell us more about who you are and about Therabody.
In late 2007, I was on my way to one of my last chiropractic exams when I was in a motorcycle accident that eventually led me to invent Theragun. I have always been interested in the nervous system, physiology and mechanics of the body and how we move - which led me to pursue becoming a chiropractor, and I have now been practising since 2008.
From 2008 to 2016, I developed five different versions of the Theragun which led to our first consumer launch of the G1 in 2016. Therabody more broadly serves our mission of helping people feel better naturally, which is bigger than percussive therapy. In addition to the Theragun, we have a vibrating Wave Series (including our Wave Roller, Wave Duo, and Wave Solo), a USDA Certified Organic CBD line, TheraOne, RecoveryAirpneumatic compression technology, and we recently acquired PowerDot smart muscle stimulator technology. We aim to have accessible wellness solutions for everybody, and we will never stop innovating to bring the most cutting-edge technology we can to the masses.
2. What made you venture into percussive therapy?
When I got into my motorcycle accident, I was left in constant and debilitative pain. In order to treat my injuries, I searched for a handheld device to provide deep muscle relief, but I was unable to find anything on the market, even in what I had available to me as a Chiropractor. As a result, I made something for myself and it worked. It worked better than I could have ever imagined.
At that point, it was completely selfish - I invented Theragun to treat myself. I was the first patient to use this product to address my pain and then my rehab needs and eventually in my daily routine, from waking up to working out. I eventually took the Theragun to my clinic and started using it on my clients. I was able to see some drastic changes and the effect this new modality had on the everyday person, and that inspired me to keep innovating and refining the Theragun. Our unique combination of amplitude, frequency, and torque makes the Theragun more effective at improving movement and aiding in recovery than anything else on the market.
3. Are there any designers or business owners that have inspired you along the way?
I definitely did not envision inventing the Theragun and being an entrepreneur. But, I had a lot of inspiring people around me while growing up and I always knew I wanted to do something that would help people. I have always liked Nikola Tesla’s story and quest. I don’t know how much Ben (our CEO) knows the extent of this, but I know I was supposed to meet him in my lifetime. I learn so much from Ben in the way he lives his life every day.
4. Do you have a particular work process?
What initially informed our products was my experience as a Chiropractor and my own understanding of the body and that remains true to this day. The feedback I receive from my patients is more valuable than anything because it helps inform our innovations from a place of need and experience.
5. How has the pandemic affected this process, if at all?
It was hard not being able to interact with all of my patients and the Therabody team in person. However, the pandemic also helped many people realize how impactful Therabody products can be. The tension that builds in our body on a normal day in our normal environment is not healthy for the body as it is, now compounding that with the situation we have been dealing with, our bodies need some relief and Therabody can help with that. That was inspiring to us--so we didn’t slow down at all as a company in the last year.
6. What has changed for you the most since launching Therabody?
Everything. I never could have imagined Therabody as it is today, and it would have never gotten to where it is if it was just me alone. Through the years Theragun helped me connect with my patients and more importantly, as I shared the product with my patients, this facilitated a deeper connection my patients had with their own bodies - that is my purpose, and it keeps us innovating constantly. Now, we are so much more than Theragun and seeing how Therabody’s products can change someone’s life - who thought there may never be a solution to their pain - is so rewarding.
7. Which Theragun is your favourite, and why?
The Theragun Pro, an iteration of our flagship device, is my favourite. It is what I use to treat my patients--with interchangeable batteries for continuous run-time, a rotating arm, and up to 60lbs of no-stall force. It is a more personalized experience, but while we designed the Theragun Pro for professionals, it can be used by anyone who wants our top-of-the-line product.
8. After which exercise do you need to use a Theragun the most?
I use it after every workout, and on days that I don’t work out. Theragun - and now RecoveryAir and PowerDot too - are part of my daily routine to help me feel my best and optimise my days. I definitely sometimes feel like I need to reach for my Theragun more after a tougher workout, but when I am using our solutions daily I don’t experience that too much. My hope is that everyone who uses our products makes them a daily ritual.
9. Lastly, what does the future hold for Therabody? Have you any new products in the works?
Our customers’ needs inspire our innovations. We are a customer-first company, constantly listening to understand what our customers need to live a healthy, happy lifestyle. We’ll come out with the best products and services backed by science and fueled by innovation and technology to help them to do that. We are always looking at ways to expand our mission and our whole-body wellness offerings, but we don’t do it on a timetable or ever force innovation - but we will definitely continue to evolve.