The health and wellness industry is one that’s filled with crazes and fads, some that can be incredibly helpful while others are more questionable. And it can often be difficult to tell the difference. At-home massage can be an effective way to experience some of the benefits of professional massage at a lower cost and from the comfort of your own home. And plenty of massage products claim to provide these benefits, from foam rollers to massage chairs. One of the most recent crazes is the massage gun.
In this article, we’ll look at how massage guns work, whether they work, and some of the pros and cons of using them compared to professional massage.
What are massage guns?
A massage gun is a handheld tool that you can use on your own muscles to mimic the techniques used by massage therapists in order to massage the muscle tissue. Massage guns feature an oscillating head that works your muscles, often with various head attachments of different shapes and sizes to target different areas of the body. They also have different speed and strength settings to adjust the impact of the ‘massage’.
Like traditional massage, these products are said to reduce muscle soreness and stiffness, speed up recovery after a workout, increase blood flow to the area, among other benefits. Massage guns can be expensive, but there are lower-cost options available, too. Typically, prices vary from anywhere between $150 and $700.
How do they work?
Massage guns work your muscles using a technique known as percussive therapy, also known as vibration therapy. However, the tool doesn’t vibrate, it oscillates extremely fast, essentially hitting the targeted body part repeatedly, multiple times every second. So, percussive therapy is the more accurate description of how massage guns work.
The effect of this is that your nervous system becomes stimulated by the sensation, prompting the body to respond in ways that increase blood flow, releasing tension, improve range of motion, and promote pain relief.
Massage guns vs. traditional massage
Massage guns can be effective at speeding up recovery times and relieving muscle tension, which can be particularly useful after a run or workout. They can benefit us the best when used in conjunction with professional massage therapy. Professional massage can be much more effective because you can just lay there and relax your entire body while being treated. This is important to getting the most out of a massage.
However, most people aren’t able to get a massage every day or even a few times a week. So, a massage gun can help to supplement regular professional massage treatment. If you go for a run or to the gym three times per week, then you can use the massage gun after each workout and then enjoy a professional massage every two weeks, for example.