June 11, 2021
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BEMER Can Help an Athlete Improve Their Function

In this interview, former Functional Performance Therapist for the San Francisco 49ers Tom Zheng shares how BEMER helps athletes recover faster and perform better.

Recently, we had the honor of chatting with former NFL Functional Performance Therapist Tom Zheng, formerly of the San Francisco 49ers.

As a functional performance therapist working in the team’s health and performance department, Tom used proven techniques to help his players repair their muscles, recuperate from injuries, and get back in the game faster.

A few years ago, the 49ers adopted BEMER muscle stimulation therapy as a new recovery tool for their elite team of athletes.

In this special edition interview, we’re giving you a firsthand look at how Tom uses BEMER to cut down recovery times and enhance players’ performance on the field.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your career with the San Francisco 49ers?

Of course. I’m originally from Oakland, California, and I completed my undergraduate education at the University of California San Diego with degrees in Human Biology and Psychology. I pursued my graduate education at the Concordia University of Chicago in Applied Exercise Science, and I’m currently working on my PhD in Human Health and Performance. 

In terms of practical certifications, I have a Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES) and Posture Alignment Specialist (PAS), and I’m in the process of finishing my Performance Enhancement Specialist (PES) certification. This year, I finished my 3rd season as a performance therapist for the San Francisco 49ers.

How did you first learn about BEMER?

I was introduced to BEMER therapy three years ago when our head of department ordered several units for our athletes to use in our recovery room. 

I quickly did a little bit of research, read some articles, and got in touch with an Independent BEMER Distributor who connected me with Dr. Berka. 

He went through the mechanism of action and explained how BEMER is beneficial to an athlete’s performance and recovery. We talked about practical applications and how it can be used during modalities such as joint mobilizations to improve outcome. 

When you work with athletes, how important is recovery in their day-to-day ability to perform on the field?

Huge. Recovery is a cornerstone of performance. Any professional or elite athlete knows: repetitive training leads to accumulated stress on the body. 

What separates a good athlete from a great athlete is their preparation and post training routine. And post training recovery really boils down to three big things: circulation, quality sleep, and nutrition. Being able to maintain a positive balance in these areas will keep an athlete feeling better and more durable during the grind of an NFL season.

BEMER touches directly on the circulation aspect by improving microcirculation. It impacts your heart rate variability which relates to your readiness for the next day. 

As a performance enhancement specialist, what are your thoughts on BEMER?

I think it’s a phenomenal tool to improve circulation passively. This is especially important post training when the athlete is depleted and just needs some TLC. 

How does your department differ from strength and conditioning or physical therapy?

While I do operate some in the rehabilitation setting, I primarily focus on helping the athlete on the prevention end. I help them improve biomechanics to limit dysfunctional movement patterns through corrective programs. In addition, I guide them through and educate them on recovery programs to improve circulation, rest, and decrease mental fatigue through modalities like the BEMER.

I work alongside our excellent S and C staff, Dietician, ATC and PT’s to provide our athletes with an all inclusive system to optimize their physical potential. 

When you use BEMER with your athletes as a recovery method, how do you explain it to them?

Let’s just say we have a guy come in with a sprained ankle. Several different things happen when you have trauma to a joint. 

You have something called arthrogenic inhibition, where your brain goes, “Oh no, that area’s hurt. I don’t want to move that.” So you have a little blockage — both neuromuscularly and from the trauma-induced inflammation. 

BEMER therapy basically re-stimulates the blood vessels to contract and dilate properly. So, we usually tell them, “We can help you with the neuromuscular portion, and BEMER can help you with the circulatory portion to cut your recovery time down.”*

How do you incorporate BEMER in a professional team environment?

With any modality use, it’s very player-dependent. In this world, everybody has a set routine. It’s psychological as much as it is physical. 

If a player’s used to doing XYZ leading up to a game, then he’s going to do it before every game. And nobody’s XYZ is going to be the same. 

So it is always up to the discretion and preference of the athlete. The best thing you can do is explain the benefit and leave it up to them to incorporate into their daily routine. 

Has there been any feedback from athletes about BEMER?


Ben Garland. In my first year with the 49ers, we went over the benefits of BEMER on rest and circulation. He tried it for a week and loved it. 

Right afterward, I think he called you guys and became an ambassador. 

Recover Like A Professional Athlete

BEMER is trusted by performance enhancement specialists like Tom and professional athletes all around the globe.

All it takes is two eight-minute sessions a day, and you can experience faster recovery times, better rest, increased muscular strength and conditioning, and optimized performance. 

Reach out to your local BEMER distributor today to learn more and gain access to NFL-level recovery in the comfort of your own home.

*BEMER does not provide any medical advice or services. This device is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. It should not be used for any purpose other than as described in the user manual. Please consult your own healthcare provider if you have any medical issues.  Spokespeople may have been compensated for their testimony.

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