Founder and CEO Sharik Peck utilizes Utahn ingenuity and a local workforce to manufacture his patented migraine relief device.

In 2020, Peck’s patented invention, the Pain Tuner Pro, was named the “Coolest Thing Made in Utah” by the web site of the same name. “I always have to ask people if they realize who we were up against for that,” says Peck. He cites three of the other contenders in the contest as being Fat Boy ice cream sandwiches, Armorax Armored Cars, and the “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Millennium Falcon” ride bound for Disneyland.

So, by contrast, what exactly is — to cite the name of Rezzimax‘s now-updated model — the Pain Tuner Pro II? Looking at it upright and head-on, it resembles either a black or white grasshopper with — when its adjustable tongs are attached — blue antennae.

The Pain Tuner Pro II is a sophisticated massage device. It can be used with its adjustable tong attachment to vibrate, at the same time, both sides of the forehead or both the sides of the neck or both sides of someone’s back — thus activating the “right hemisphere and the left hemisphere of the brain, and the way they control different parts,” according to Peck. Assorted settings are meant to imbue, for example, either a relaxed state or provide a reviving effect.

The protruding “wings” on both sides of the device are designed to be rubbed along the legs or the back. Other attachments include a soft foam “brain” which can be gently applied to the solar plexus. There’s a strap attachment if someone wants to wear the device, for example, against their leg while walking. And there’s a tip which can be placed against pressure points — or between toes during a foot massage.

Put a surgical glove on it — for hygiene purposes — and the device can be placed inside the mouth to address jaw pain. Peck says the Pro Tuner Pro II’s “very-carefully calibrated vibration” is designed to be “elliptical,” not like a “jackhammer.” Furthermore, its soothing vibrations match “the harmonic range of the purr of a cat.” (Speaking of which, the device has also been used on horses, dogs, and cats.)

Last year the company produced 6,000 of the Pain Tuner Pro II. “We’ll make 10,000 this year,” says Peck. “Our growth has been phenomenal.” Word of mouth has led to the device being used at numerous “dental offices and chiropractic offices and physical therapy offices” across the globe. It’s also utilized by speech pathologists and vocal trainers, as well as by hundreds of individual consumers.

Earlier versions of the device were made in China. In addition to the shipping costs being exorbitant, Peck discovered that the parts the manufacturer used inside the device could be different from batch to batch — and sometimes the product only lasted a year.

That’s all changed. “Right now, they’re manufactured 20 minutes from my home,” says Peck. The assembly takes place in Logan, Utah, at Freeform Polymers, which also makes the plastic parts. Peck says, “Because of our growth, we’ve helped Freeform Polymers — they’ve doubled their employees.”

Additionally, about a half-dozen local people are contract manufacturers for the “soft goods,” such as the bag and pillow that come as part of the package. Peck adds, “Our batteries come out of California and our motherboards out of Kansas.”

Peck has a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy as well as a master’s degree in vocational rehabilitation counseling. He’s also had numerous instances of physical trauma during his lifetime: He broke his neck when he was two; he suffered a stroke at age 17, requiring him to relearn how to walk and feed himself; and a car hit him while he was bicycling at 20. It’s been his own personal struggles that led him to want to help others.

The initial inspiration for the Pain Tuner Pro came to him in bed one night: “Vibrations!” he suddenly thought to himself. He says he somehow intuited that vibrations could help heal the body. He rolled over and told his perplexed wife, “I need an electric toothbrush!” From his crude early experiments using electric toothbrushes and modified electric clippers with attachments, he knew he was onto something. After years of experimentation, he developed his first Pain Tuner Pro. He’s subsequently used the invention within his own therapeutic practice.

Peck points out the device’s assistance in easing distress associated with two different sets of nerves: the vagus nerve in the neck (which helps people heal and relax, he says, hence the sleepy “zz”s in the company’s name) and trigeminal nerve in the face and jaw (which clenches up during the fight or flight response). Using the Pain Tuner Pro II against those areas can reduce migraines and TMJ, he says.

Presently, the devices are undergoing clinical research, which is taking place at the speech and language pathology department of the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and at the headache center of MD Anderson Center in Texas, he notes.

Given his product was named the “Coolest Thing Made in Utah,” what does Peck think is so cool about his own device? “The most amazing thing for me — as a physical therapist and one that cares dearly about people — is that when it can help turn off [people’s] pain, their migraine headache, their chronic pain, it helps them be able to enjoy life again — and live life to its fullest.”

Photos courtesy Rezzimax

Challenges: “Supply issues have been really hard in the last year, getting things coordinated,” says Peck.

Opportunities: By utilizing social media, Peck says, “We can unleash a lot of great sales teams, where we can train them and teach them what to do.”

Needs: “Continual improvement of the product,” says Peck. “As a manufacturer, you’re never fully 100 percent happy with things until they’re perfect. But if you wait until they’re perfect, you’ll never get it finished.”