The price was paid.

Veterans Biomedical innovation. It’s a really long story, today however, I have another average day of trying to maintain my composure and work ethic as I face a day to day experience on my own in what the reality is of working a day job and satisfying the day to day demand of a biomedical device development, efficacy and acceptance. Through the prism of sacrifice and in honor of two I served with who gave all, I am the mountain. 

After envisioning, creating, proving and donating hundreds of Temple Massagers to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Mothers of Military Service members (MOMS), Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), Veterans Service Organizations and individual veterans globally in hopes of honoring the service and sacrifice of PVT Curtis Young and SFC Michael Ottolini.

I went back to my old Army National Guard Armory in 2010 because I heard they were being deployed and that is where this long story all began.

I served under SFC Michael Ottolini in Delta Company 579th Combat Engineers. It was the late 90’s and I was suffering from headaches and started developing the Temple Massager to help myself. That unit was where it all began. I met with the company commander to show him the device and that I would donate however many he needed. He tried the device while sitting on an Army cot and went quiet and went quit for a few seconds. He pulled the device off of his head and asked if I could be present at the pre-deployment family support event. While at the event I saw folks I had served with that remembered me talking about the Temple Massager and when I showed them the device they were happy to see it. I donated 80 units the 579th Engineers that day. When they returned a year later I was given a letter from the company stating the Temple Massager acted as a natural form of combat stress relief. What mattered more was that on the day I was invited to be present and donate Temple Massagers a Soldier came up to me and said thank you and that he will be sending his Temple Massager home. I asked why?

He explained to me that his daughter was injured in an IED attack while serving in Iraq and she lives with him and his wife. His daughter has a hard time falling asleep and she couldn't rub her own temples because of arm damage so he and his wife rub their daughter’s temples to help her go to sleep. He was going to send his Temple Massager to his wife to give to his daughter because his wife had to take another job due to her husband’s deployment.

I explained to the Soldier that I had brought some other colors for any family and caregivers. He offered to pay me for the Temple Massager but I said no need, he insisted and I again refused to take any money. He asked why I would not accept payment and I explained that the price was already paid through the sacrifices of PVT Young and SFC Ottolini. He chose a pink Temple Massager for his daughter and he took his black Temple Massager to the Middle East with him.

It has always been servicemembers and veteran’s comments, feedback and inspiration that showed me the way. Like a beacon on a dark foggy path into the unknown of discovery, they lit my way. I took my marching orders from service members and veterans and disregrded any monetary gain.

For Curtis and Mike. 

They are joining me.

It has been 10 years I have been donating Temple Massagers to service members and veterans globally wherever they were deployed I sent Temple Massagers.  In combat, training, recovery and at home the Temple MAssager was sent. Over the years I have gone through much, I remember Dr Dinucci from NICAM explaining to me sometimes in life ideas are not embraced until the person that created it has passed. I retorted " I am seriously trying to buck that trend."

It is that hard to create a new device from nothing that has never existed before, I know, that is what I am doing. I think the odds are 1-3% of success. Yet here I am. I am always reminded of a Gandhi quote, when a person tries to do something different or a new way they will be ignored, if you continue they will laugh at you, if you continue they will call you names and yell at you, if you continue they will then join you.  I have walked the path of being ignored, laughed at, yelled at and now they are joining me.

I have a pilot study that is positive, Dr's interested in clinical studies and because I was lucky, crazy, obsessed and grateful for the strength to wage this fight now on the verge of success. On the verge of bringing a totally new way to create calming, distraction and possibly ease phantom pain   for PTS / stress injury. My focus was always on relieving service members and veterans of stress in a drug free way. I dedicated to two men that gave all, Pvt Young and SFC Ottolini and they helped me in death to find the wherewithal to continue. 

In the next few weeks we will have a clear path shaping up and a new workload to self task with.


Donating Temple Massagers to Fort Bragg, Ca Veterans Service Organization.

It was a crisp morning on December 7th when Joe Meisch rose at 5 am but his heart was warm and full.  It was day one of making good on a promise to honor his service member brothers and sisters.  Back in September during suicide awareness month, Joe had pledged to donate 22 temple massagers a day for 22 days.  Over three hours later that morning, he arrived at the Fort Bragg Veterans Services Organization and met up with clinical psychologist, Dr. Vanessa Goertzen.  Joe proceeded to demonstrate his innovative calming device to veterans, answered questions, and donated thirty of the stress relieving Temple Massagers to regional veterans of Fort Bragg. 

“My personal message to these guys is that we are all part of a team and we have to look out for each other.”  Joe Meisch stated.  “The reason I am donating Temple Massagers to them today is because the moment they feel like grabbing something that could cause harm, be it a gun or a bottle of too many pills…I want them to have an alternative and to grab the Temple Massager instead.  I want them to be able to relieve their stress and to calm themselves.  I value the lives of each and every one of these guys and in my small humble way I’m just trying to help with a device I hope can give them relief.”

Next up on the horizon for Joe’s mission to donate, is another Northern California location, and meanwhile the Temple Massager is undergoing phase one of a pilot study with results reporting to department of defense officials interested in the product for PTS anger management. 

The WW2 Veteran, Grateful Dead and Temple Massager.

When my father passed away I was the one responsible for going through the family house in Novato. The house needed a full remodel and so as I was going through this construction phase I would feel some sadness from all of the memories of 5 kids, 8 grand kids and life times of items in that house. I would take a break and go visit the neighborhood to break that sad feeling. As I would get to know the neighborhood folks more I would feel better and go back to work. I would feel better because I could see the lasting impression our family had made with the neighborhood and that everything was positive and there is life all around. One neighbor was Ben Young, he was a WW2 veteran and as I am a vet (non-combat) I always felt good talking with him. Near the end of the work at the house I went to Ben and he invited me in as always to talk. He and his wife would ask how is the house coming along and I would update them, they are great people and I am so grateful for their friendship after all these years. 

They would ask "Joey how is the Temple Massager project going?" I explained that it was moving forward and that I was getting positive feedback from service members and veterans that the Temple Massager was helping with stress relief. Then I asked Ben if he ever heard of a Band called The Grateful Dead?  The 89 yr old Ben sat up, eyes wide open and he says" Yes I know those guys" I said Ben that's great how do you know those guys in the band?

Ben went on to say “Joey, in the 60's I started Pini Hardware and Little Mickey Hart and his friends would come in to get supplies for their house across from San Marin High school. They would buy things and then owe me money and then pay me and so I put them on a $50.00 a month program and it all worked out, those guys were always good for it. They are good people. That later on in the 70's Little Mickey Hart came in and gave me a signed album from the band and said thanks for helping the band in their lean years and gave Ben the album. Ben says it is still hanging on his wall to this day.

I told Ben that is an awesome story.  I told Ben that as I was creating the new Temple Massager I had a bigger handle and that it could hold some art work and I was looking at the Dancing Bears artwork of the Grateful Dead because it was peaceful and mellow. Ben said those are good and nice people they will be good to you Joey.


  Later on when I called the Rhino Entertainment group in Burbank Ca they put me in touch with an attorney. As I spoke with the attorney he asked me what is this all about? I told him I invented a product to solve my own facial muscle tension issues and headaches and gave it away to service members all over the world for 8 years. He says Stop talking, stop talking... I did. He says Joe nobody talks to me as much as you are, but you are intriguing the shit out of me so please continue. I went on to say I was looking into the dancing bear’s logo for my Temple Massager.
Attorney says Joe, you know Jerry Garcia joined the Army? I said no I did not Sir, he says it did not work out, I said he had the heart of a lion and that he tried is noble he said yes. SO Joe being in the Army you know shit rolls downhill I said yes Sir. He says Joe I want you to call this number and talk with Jason _____ in 30 minutes. I called the number 30 mins later and this guy Jason from Warner Music Group answers and I ask for Jason and he says Hi Joe we have been expecting you call. WOW, Warner Music says they have been expecting my call. After working with Warner Music Group, Inc. Rhino Entertainment, Inc. and GDP, Inc. for 6 months on art work the time came to finalize the Licensing agreement. I explained to them in the beginning that if this was going to cost me money I could not do it, Warner Music folks said let’s keep moving down the line to figure this out, just keep working on the art work. Okay.

Months later after the art work was set Warner Music calls me. I am standing in my kitchen and the attorney says Joe we have one more question for you before we finalize this licensing agreement, do you intend to continue donating Temple Massagers to troops? I said that I would not be where I am right now if I had not donated the products. I owe it all to giving them away to troops. I will always donate to troops that's what got me here, yes I will.
They attorney on the line says" Joe we are going to give  you for free a one year Lic agreement because of your generosity to out troop's. “On that spot in my kitchen I felt family, I felt my dad, I felt Ben, I felt proud, I felt grateful, I felt accomplished. I thanked her and that was it. I now had the support from one of the greatest Bands ever.

Ben was so right. 

A short time later I happen to run into "Little Mickey Hart" Mickey had time for my story and he said he fully remembered Ben and Pini Hardware and

Actual art work.

One year later I happen to run into "Little Mickey Hart" Mickey had time for my story and he said he fully remembered Ben and Pini Hardware and that Ben helped them so much in the early days and Mickey went on with some stories from the 60's. He was super cool and was going of about the band and Novato and Pini and Ben. Mickey asked me if I would pass on his deepest thanks and best wishes that he remembers Ben and Novato so well. 

One month later I was in Novato and I met with Ben and told him the story. I told Ben, Mickey was super happy to hear about you and Pini and he was grateful for all the early days help. I passed on Mickeys hello and kind words. Ben and his wife sat there smiling and Ben was so happy about this. He says I told you. 

Actual Temple Massagers & Grateful Dead art work.

For me this was a home grown, local, organic beautiful story of folks helping each other in so many ways. I am so happy to be able to deliver a completed circle of good intentions for all.

Pace, Peace, Peace.

Yes, but do you have data?

8 years of donating 1,350 Temple Massagers to service members globally yielded data.

Military use data:

29 Palms Marines Base, Camp Pendleton Marine base. After 2 week field use, surveys indicated 50-60% of users indicated they found relief from stress anxiety / PTSD.

Academic data:

Cal State Hayward entrepreneur students data:
Survey and questionnaire indicate 47% of those who tried the Temple Massager for stress relief and headache relief found it helpful / found relief.

Independent veteran community data:

Donations to individual veterans of all branches indicate 45% of those who used the Temple Massager for calming, stress injury calming found it helpful.

Temple Massager company data:

 Company generated data from people that have facial muscle tension issues and or stress / PTSD indicate 45-50% of those who use the Temple Massager found it helpful.

I can see the Temple Massager is helping people with facial muscle tension issues and or stress anxiety / PTSD  issues. I started the company and began donating to help others in the name of two men I served with that gave all.  I can help more service members, veterans and the public but I need help to reach them so I have a Kickstarter campaign running. Please spread the word and help me help others.  Here is the link.


Joe Meisch


Only one guy had read it.

As time went on and I was donating Temple Massagers and people or groups to donate to I received my first media exposure. The Bohemian magazine out of Sonoma County. They wrote about my first Temple Massager the TM 1.0. I remember they put the story online as well as in print. In reading the online version I noticed they said I was an Iraq war veteran. I hold a deep respect for my comrades who are combat veterans. I am NOT a combat vet. I was mortified and called the paper, I told them that needs to be correct now, the person on the phone said something like we have that scheduled for this person and that time......I stopped her and said please listen to me now, this has to change now. This is wrong and you have to change it right now. I said some other stuff. She changed it within 10 minutes.

I saw some of the first feedback from the public through that article and it was positive and I thought I am on the right track.

 Enter Marine Corps Korean war combat veteran.

 My phone rings, is this Joe Meisch? Yes it is. The man said I saw your article in the Bohemian, could we talk in person about what you are doing? I said sure.

I visited Dave in Santa Rosa Calif on a mild fall afternoon, not far from where I live. I sat down and had coffee with Dave. Dave began to tell me that he was, is still a Marine. He served in Korea. He asked me if I ever heard of Chosin? Chosin reservoir? No Sir I said. Dave handed me a paper and said read this. I read that roughly 30,000 American and some British commandos held off 67,000 North Koreans and Chinese.  Dave said he was one of 12 survivors of a 112 man rifle company. He told me things the he saw and I’ll leave it there

 Dave very quickly explained to me that he meets with his chapter of The Chosin Few regularly, he saw the article and brought it up at a meeting. Dave handed me a check for $100.00 bucks. He said Joe we are average men and not rich but we all are proud of you and wanted to help as much as we could. I said I will cash this and then take the cash to the factory in Rohnert Park in Sonoma County. That there will be no administrative costs, fee’s and bullshit that the money will be delivered directly to the factory for more Temple Massagers. Dave said that’s great, if your Temple Massager helps our boys they are proud to help. I never met Dave before that day, I would fight to the gates of hell with and for Dave and his buddies. He thanked me! HA!!! I told Dave I will take your money and that I would be remise if I did not thank him for his service.

He thanked me, I have never been thanked by a man and felt it wholly unnecessary and inappropriate. I could see hear and feel Dave wanted to help me out of honoring his buddies and “our boys”  It was me who owed the thanks to Dave I was so blown away by his experience and that he survived, he thanked me! No NO NO I am supposed to thank you my brother it is you I feel gratitude for.

 How is it I have my first media and have to correct the misprint online that said I was a combat vet, and I meet Dave. To meet Dave and have his respect means that there is no amount of money that would pay for that.

 I have prayed to my creator to guide me, to show me a sign I am on the right track. I have prayed this many times. I say creator I will not ask you for help, you gave me a frontal lobe and an opposing thumb, I am Joe Meisch and I am born to kick ass on this planet. Thank you for every day I awake. But this Temple Massager thing is draining me and it has me driven to madness and it is killing me. Please guide me, please ancestors guide me and show me I am on the right track. Other people need your help but I will ask for guidance.

I meet Dave that was a sign. The sign. For Curtis and Mike and for our brothers and sisters serving and Dave and for those that gave all.

 Dave was the only guy in the world that could have read the article as far as I was concerned.

Only one guy had to read it and it was Dave.

 I know there are many brothers and sisters serving and that have served and they believe in what I am doing. I will give all I can, I will not give up.

The Temple Massager is my mission .4 I will always place the mission first. 5. I will never accept defeat 6. I will never quit. This I swear to and will see this Temple Massager idea to its DEATH or mine. 

What they said.

Gulf War Combat Vet, Rob Smith Aug 2014 Bend, Oregon.

 “ I have headaches often and when my stomach is irritated I can’t take the meds. I used the Temple Massager and laid down for 20 mins and the headaches was gone, no drugs! Joe Your Temple Massager works.”


Combat Veteran Kelli Kirk Birdie Dec 2014 Nebraska.

I met Kelli Kirkbirdie on a FB Headache Support page, I explained to her I created the Temple Massager for my own facial muscle tension issues and that I was a vet donating to Vets and she asked to try the Temple Massager.

This is the response from Combat Veteran Kelli Kirkbirdie, Nebraska.

“ This is amazing I am loving it. It works amazing in conjunction with the other procedure, I have been migraine free for a while now. ”

I asked  if it was helping her?

 “ Yes I am it has been extremely helpful, I am using it every day as a preventive and my oldest don who has recently started suffering from headaches has been using it as well and is actually doing better in school since his headaches are much more manageable. ”



Combat Veteran Dec, 2014 testimony.

From Purple Heart Army combat vet.                                                             
Albert Poindexter, A.S. Massage Therapy.
Product review Temple Massager
Patent Number 7399287B2

“My initial reaction to opening my Temple Massager for the first time,
was to admire the simplicity of his design.
The large handle, simple adjustment tool, the curved arms, and the switchable pressure point massagers came together with an effective and elegant product. It was easy to figure out how to use, and in less than a minute provided me with relief. I found that I could use any number of strokes and techniques with this devise, and even on different body parts due to the adjustment tool. While I found that cross fiber friction worked best, I was able to apply ample trigger point pressure to specific areas. Once I felt the tension melt away from my temples, I tried the product on my jaw, focusing on the superficial muscles over the temporal mandibular joint, an area known for tension causing grinding of the teeth.
I found that it worked just as efficiently as the temporal region of the skull. I have tried many products already on the market, from muscle creams to vibrating massage wands, and thus far I have not found a product as effective as this has been over the last week. After my first week of using the Temple Massager, I have been able to get over my headaches a bit easier than I normally do. The difference between this device and competing product in my professional opinion is the Temple Massager allows for maximum control, while providing comfort and relief. This is a product that I would not only use myself, but would recommend to others suffering from tension headaches.”


Jan 2015  Navy SEAL, Combat Veteran.

“When I first met Joe Meisch and saw his device the Temple Massager I was fully skeptical. After my wife was using it I tried it and now find the Temple Massager useful for relaxing. I don’t use the Temple Massager all day, but when I am stressed, angry or frustrated I sit down and use it and it works. I also use it before bed. I can’t believe your product has not taken off yet.”


In honor of PVT Young and SFC Ottolini, Let the donating begin!

At a much weakened time with the walls crashing down all around and with what at the time seemed like a losing cause it was time to give all. They gave all, I will not give up. NO! WE ARE NOT manufacturing in China. When there was nothing left to do or lose but give, the clarity of a dear friend helped me see the value of giving. It was for Curtis and Mike and for those who serve but also a way to act against the really bad advice and options investors offered. I could give them away and nobody could stop that. It was all I could do and the answer seemed like the absolute best way to honor two friends and go directly against the gate keepers to success. Long for better days through giving.

I contacted a friend I had served in the 579th Engineers with, he was in Maryland and got me a contact to Red Cross liaison at Walter Reed in DC.

I contacted the Red Cross person at Walter Reed and after I explained to John Huffstutler what I had in the Temple Massager he said send him the donation. I sent him 40 or so Temple Massagers.

John received the Temple Massagers and I called him to ask what he thought. He said, “ Joe after I opened the box of Temple Massages I thought they were ridiculous looking.” John went on” Joe I took a couple Temple Massagers home and my wife and I tried them out. We think the Temple Massagers will be the best corporate gift for the service member’s this Christmas”

After a couple of months and a few more donations I was told by Walter Reed Medical staff the the product acted as a drug free distractor. 

Long for better days through giving.

We gave to troops all over the world through WWP, MOMS, individuals, veterans and to who ever thought that the product would help troops deployed or recovering.

We even asked other companies to donate the aromatherapy oil.

Through all the donating there was some patterns showing up in the feedback. We had feedback from different locations that was similar. Folks said the product helped with headache relief, Bruxism relief and calming. We researched medical literature to find that it is recommended to keep the facial muscles relaxed to prevent headaches bruxism and TMJ. Then we met with Dr Abramson who is the founder of Stanford University Mindfulness based stress clinic.

 Mark Abramson, DDS,  Diplomat, American Board of Oro-facial Pain Diplomat, American Board of Dental Sleep  Medicine  Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Programs: Center for Integrated Medicine  Stanford University, School of Medicine, Health Improvement Program  California Center For Craniomandibular Disorders

Mark Abramson, DDS,

Diplomat, American Board of Oro-facial Pain Diplomat, American Board of Dental Sleep


Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Programs: Center for Integrated Medicine

Stanford University, School of Medicine, Health Improvement Program

California Center For Craniomandibular Disorders

I am writing you with my impression of the Temple Massager from my role in two different settings.

Firstly I am a dentist who specializes in the treatment of TMJ and cranial facial pain and I am also director of the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Clinic at Stanford University Medical Center, Integrative Medicine Clinic.

The Temple Size or employs very simple concept of being able to stimulate the sensitive areas of the head muscles, particularly the temporal muscles with the user in a comfortable and relaxed position as they manipulate the device on themselves.

With a combination of my focus with both my clinic patients with TMJ and facial pain and with the stress reduction clinic at Stanford I feel that the Temple Massager has a significant potential for being a useful tool with the armed services personnel who are under chronic stress in their performance of duties.

The Temple massager could offer an opportunity for these personnel to settle down and their nervous systems from a patrol or other duties that induce great stress. One could think of this as a diver who goes down into a deep dive and has to decompress slowly coming out of the dive. A soldier going on patrol is in a hyper alert state with significant release of stress hormones for extended period of time. Soldiers need training in settling down this stress reaction in reducing the stress hormones in the body which lead to the destructive effects on their health.

I feel that the Temple Massager gives the personnel an opportunity to restore themselves and settle down in a positive Safeway and hopefully prevent the ceiling of the need for a quick fix to alcohol or drugs.

I feel the Temple Massager could be used in conjunction with a audio guided meditation/relaxation tape that would guide the user to focus their mind and to stimulate what Herb Benson, M.D. at Harvard calls the relaxation response. End of letter.

Donating was empowering, when the chips were down and the odds were long I gave.

Beating the 75% failure rate of getting a patent.

Beating the 75% failure rate of getting a patent.

I was told 75% of all patent applications fail, They asked are you smart enough, strong enough, confident enough to get this done Joe? I never considered any of this and charged ahead. Who wants to think about failure, the long shot odds, the deck stacked against you?

That was only the first of two steps with poor success rates, once you get a patent you have to get this patented product to the market and that has an 80% failure rate. So to use an analogy, you made it through the first mountain range and 75% of the people you started with are gone by the time you get to the other side. Do you have what it takes to negotiate a terrain and survive an environment with a 75% failure rate? If you do, good for you because you are now in for a greater challenge. The second step is “brining the product to the market” is there a use for that patented device?

80% of all new businesses fail within 2 years. So here is the math you are facing. 25% - minus 80%= 5%.

You have a 5% chance at getting this through to the world. But wait there is more. Of that 5% only 1% to .5% are medical oriented.  DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES?

My answer was I served in the military and about 1% of the population serves, so I am right in there and I have 100% chance of making this happen. My ultimate bottom line was and secret weapon is this. I served in the Army uniform with two men that gave all. I will not give up. I will take that challenge.

Back in 1987 as a 20 YO 12B Combat Engineer I was in the Alpha Company, 820th Engineers out San Pablo, Ca. We were on annual training at Camp Roberts, California. While training setting up on an ambush at 2am I noticed the guys on my left flank were lagging so I went to help them finish digging their fighting positions. That was Pvt Curtis Young and another soldier. They were so happy I was finishing up the digging they were throwing rocks at me to show their appreciating. The next day it was 105 and we caught a break. The Lieutenant said we were going on a river recon, wink, we really got to go cool off and wash off a bit. Mt brother Curtis drowned that day and I tried to find him. I swam all over that river bottom. Search and rescue from San Luis Obispo came out and found him just downstream from where I was looking.   I was asked to stay and ID him. I went to his funeral in Oakland, Ca then blacked it out. I blacked it out until my former supervisor SFC Ottolini was KIA in Iraq in 2005. When I went to Mike’s funeral the thoughts of Curtis Young came flooding back. It was then I committed to donating the Temple Massager to service members and veterans in honor of Curtis and Mike. In my darkest days I had no fear or hesitation, they gave all I am not giving up and we do this to honor those who serve. I am doing this with the help of Curtis and Mike.

Bring it. 

Where it all began.


 This is the actual note I found from my college days that mark where it all began.

This is the actual note I found from my college days that mark where it all began.

Where it all began. 1997 as a 12B Combat Engineer in the California Army National Guard and student at Sonoma State I began to suffer from facial muscle clinching and that would lead to headaches. I found myself massaging my lower jaw muscles and side of my head. I would think "there has to be a Temple Massager out there I could buy". I found that was not true and it did not exist.  I began to experiment with crude prototypes and seeking domain names.

It would seem I was on track to create a new device to help with facial muscle tension issues like I was dealing with. I found being an Army Combat Engineer was a great background to have to solve problems. I was solving my own problem.

From this first post I will begin writing the story of my experience of creating, designing, producing, patenting and donating Temple Massagers.