The Story of Handmaster Plus
My name is Dr. Terry Zachary. I am the developer of Handmaster Plus. By nature, I love to have fun and love to take life seriously, which somehow doesn’t seem to mix. I guess that makes me somewhat of a rebel. The most fun I can have is in searching for the truth in things. If I see something that doesn’t make sense, I can’t shake it. Especially if it affects the lives of many. It will consume me until I do something about it.
To follow is the story of Handmaster Plus. It is an important story because it is about seeing problems as opportunities, and creating solutions. It is also an important story for everyone because it is about dreams.
In the fall of 1988, my radiology professor, Dr. Percuoco, assigned me an away-from-class project: Compare tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) vs. golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis) as an assignment during a college golf trip (for which I was being excused from class). In my report, I presented about the same old symptomatic differences that most anyone would (and still do today, IMO)… but I do remember thinking… ‘Both of these conditions are caused because of the same underlying mechanical imbalance: flexor vs. extensor muscle imbalance. And shortened muscle groups. Can’t anyone else see this? Isn’t it obvious?’
In October of 1992, my dad passed away and it shook me to the core. It made me realize that this life does not go on forever. By this time, I was in private practice… and I was loving it. But I had unfinished business on a different love. A different dream. My dream of playing professional golf.
You see, I love golf. And as a youth, I heard a very real voice inside me say, “This is your life.” That voice always helped me through pressure-packed situations. It gave me strength, direction, and confidence.
My college and amateur golf careers had many successes, but upon college graduation, the real world called. I had found a profession that I loved (fitness & healthcare) and all was good. When my Dad passed, that deep voice (that had been quieted) called loudly again. That dream called loudly again.
In 1994, I decided to take time from practice and pursue the somewhat risky career of a professional golfer. And I began traveling with other professional golfers who had the same idea.
The traveling schedule was grueling. It didn’t take long to learn that many of these professional golfers had developed (or were developing) preventable finger, thumb, hand, wrist, carpal tunnel, forearm, and elbow imbalance conditions – especially tennis elbow, which I knew well – due to chronic daily repetitive gripping.
When I interviewed players about how each trained their hand muscles, they inevitably gave one of two answers: a) They did nothing (except grip the golf club all day every day), or: b) They used a ‘grip-only’ device (usually a squeeze ball or spring-loaded/coiled gripper). From treating hand muscle imbalance in my practice, I assumed professional golfers would know more about basic grip muscle mechanics (i.e. how flexors & extensor muscles work in grip and function)… I mean, this is a grip sport, right?… and these are professional golfers, right?! They knew how common hand, wrist, carpal tunnel and elbow injuries were in golf, right? They knew that Ken Venturi had to quit golf because of carpal tunnel syndrome from repetitive golf gripping… right? The reality was, most golfers knew little or nothing about these vital hand muscles.
None – and I mean ZERO! – of the professional golfers that I interviewed (back then) knew anything about ‘hand-opening’ muscles. I used an elastic band to help players strengthen these muscles, but from my years in practice, I knew the elastic band would slip off before the hand was fully opened. So I still couldn’t train pro golfers properly (i.e. through their full ranges of motion (ROM)). And I knew it was important to train them properly.
During each tour stop in each subsequent city, I would look for an item that could strengthen the hand-opening muscles properly. In each subsequent city, I found nothing.
Over the next 2 years, not only did I compete and pursue my dream of becoming a PGA tour professional, but I became acutely aware of the need to re-educate golfers (and people) about proper hand exercise and the dangers of daily repetitive gripping. I began to work on what is now Handmaster Plus.
As you may suspect, I did not make the PGA Tour. But the path I was drawn to by following my dreams and intuitions (both in golf and in health) brought me to a satisfaction that was not attainable through golf alone.
My company (doczac Enterprises Inc, now partnered with businessman, Tom Spragge) currently makes Handmaster Plus in soft, medium and firm strengths. In the past 20 years, we have discovered the need for many more applications in many varying markets. We have helped so many people. Not only do we help grip athletes reach their goals, we also help musicians, people who sew, use computers, dental professionals, tradespeople, people who are rehabbing from surgery or injury, people who have suffered a stroke, people with arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis/golfer’s elbow, osteoporosis, RSI’s, etc.. The list goes on.
My dream continues to be lived out. I now know that all real dreams should be led by one focused theme: service to others. Handmaster Plus solves a core grip imbalance and rehabilitation problem that is common to almost all of us who use our hands, whether we know it or not. Handmaster Plus is easy-to-use and super cost-effective, but most important of all, it is complete and accurate. I used to give my patients 4 or 5 separate exercises that they would rarely remember… and even more rarely do…
Everyone should know how and why Handmaster Plus was developed. I followed my intuition and my dreams, and it led me to help others… and to be an inventor and market innovator.
I hope you choose Handmaster Plus to maximize your performance and wellness! I know it will resist all 18 muscles of your hand properly. You will have stability. You will maximize circulation. That’s how joints stay healthy. That’s how joints perform at their best.
And I hope you choose to follow your dreams and intuition.
Dr. Terry Zachary
Why Handmaster Plus?
For the past 50 years, ‘grip-only’ finger, thumb and hand strengthening equipment (i.e. coiled & spring-loaded grippers, grip rings, stress balls, etc.) have been the dominant grip training choice. Yet these items are incomplete mechanically, strengthening ONLY the muscles (9) that close the hand, leaving the user open to chronic repetitive grip imbalance, weakness, cramping, poor circulation, and joint instability. The classic ‘rice-box’ was an excellent exercise as it successfully brought strength AND balance to the muscles of the hand, wrist, carpal tunnel & elbow, but it was TOO BULKY TO CARRY AROUND! ‘Elastic bands & exercise putty’ do not allow full range of motion (ROM) training… and are inconvenient, messy & time-consuming to reposition and reload.
Handmaster Plus easily combines the mechanics of strength and balance in one complete, convenient, easy to understand hand exerciser. The result is tissue health, joint stability, and diverse circulation.
“I saw too many repetitive gripping and RSI injuries in my practice and on tour. I looked everywhere at every tour stop but couldn’t find a hand exercise device that delivered maximum grip strength – while still keeping in mind the importance of muscle balance. Over the next 2 years, I designed and developed Handmaster Plus while traveling with professional golfers. It’s not well-known that the 9 muscles that OPEN the hand FULLY ASSIST the 9 muscles that close the hand in regard to strength, speed, and performance, as well as in finger, thumb, hand, wrist, carpal tunnel, forearm, and elbow health and stability. Handmaster Plus training EASILY ensures strength, speed, muscle balance, blood flow and joint stability.”
~Dr. Terry Zachary (Healthcare professional, inventor & former touring golf professional)